Jim Remsberg has an unwavering commitment to the University of Kansas School of Engineering and a palpable passion for engineering education. He’s managed to go above and beyond in service to the school, while balancing the demands of a long and distinguished career in the oil industry. The 1957 petroleum engineering graduate has maintained close ties to the school throughout a 50-plus year career. He remains active, with no intentions of retiring.
After graduating from KU, Remsberg started his career at Continental Oil Co. – the predecessor of Conoco – working in all phases of petroleum production, including reservoir engineering and enhanced recovery. He spent two years at Conoco headquarters, estimating and assigning corporate reserves for west Texas and southeast New Mexico. He also chaired an engineering group that found a way to unitize and thereby optimize recovery from geologically complex reservoirs featuring gravity drainage. Where earlier unitization efforts had failed, these efforts – undertaken in 1964 – succeeded and are still producing profitably today.
Remsberg moved to Slawson Companies Inc. in 1966, where he assumed management responsibilities for all drilling, production, completion and reservoir activities required for nearly 1,000 company and outside-operated wells. He was instrumental in the development of computer software enabling rapid, efficient and accurate delineation of operating costs by individual property as well as by selected groupings. Additionally, this software provided comparisons of preliminary capital cost estimates to actual expenditures incurred. During his 23-year tenure with Slawson, Remsberg developed a company policy of sound technical drilling procedures, and instituted a prescribed training of rig personnel. Also, he developed a calculation procedure for drill-stem test analysis for use with hand-held calculators.
In 1989, Remsberg left Slawson and founded Argent Energy Inc., where he currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer. Remsberg provides technical support for the acquisition, exploration and operation of oil and gas producing properties. His expertise in these disciplines is key in his role as an engineering consultant, advising clients on oil and gas regulatory matters, preparing estate appraisals and petroleum property evaluations. He is an experienced expert witness in the regulatory bodies as well as in the judicial system. His ability, integrity, and dedication to the industry have made him an exceptional representative of the petroleum engineering profession.
Remsberg insists on high standards of engineering work, making operating decisions based on sound engineering and economic analysis, and he conducts business in an absolutely ethical and forthright manner.
Remsberg has also dedicated significant time and energy to advancing the goals of the KU School of Engineering and in helping engineering students learn and grow during their time on campus. He recently took part in an engaging and entertaining discussion on engineering ethics with students in the Self Engineering Leadership Fellows Program. He answered the engineering students’ questions honestly and candidly, and imparted ethical observations that can only come from an active career spanning decades.
Those who have been around him over the years know him to be kind, generous, intelligent, and always having a smile on his face for everyone he meets. Remsberg has served on the School of Engineering Advisory Board since 1993 and is a longtime member of the KU Endowment Deans Club in support of the KU School of Engineering. He is a Professional Engineer, licensed in Kansas, and a lifetime member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.
He and his wife, Sandy, live in Wichita, Kan.