O'Shields, 87, passed away Thursday February 13, 2014, at his home in Kerrville, TX. He was born in Ozark, AR, on August 12, 1926, and grew up in Okmulgee, OK. He lived in Houston for almost 30 years. O'Shields was the retired chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Panhandle Eastern Corporation. He served as a director of the Houston Chamber of Commerce; a trustee of St. John's School; interim president of River Oaks Country Club; and as director of The Forum Club. He was a faithful member of River Oaks Baptist Church, an avid golfer and a dedicated family man.
O'Shields received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 1949 and an M.S. in petroleum engineering from Louisiana State University in 1951. He served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II.
O'Shields had an extraordinary career. In July of 1953, he joined Salt Water Control, Inc. as chief engineer and vice president. While there, he helped perfect the development of the Mud D-Gasser, the first cascade vacuum device for continuously removing entrained gases from drilling fluids. In 1955, he developed the first liquid cyclone de-sander to continuously separate sand and grit from drilling muds. O'Shields also developed and patented a liquid cyclone system to remove drilled solids and reclaim barite from weighted drilling muds. All of these systems are in general use on drilling rigs worldwide.
In 1960, he joined Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line (PEPL) Company in Liberal, KS, as manager of drilling and production. In 1966, O'Shields became president of Anadarko Production Company, a Panhandle subsidiary. He was elected executive vice president of PEPL in 1968 in charge of its Kansas City, MO, operating headquarters. He became a director in 1969 and the following year was named president and CEO, transferring to the executive headquarters in Houston. He became chairman of the board in 1979, stepped down as CEO in 1983, and continued as chairman until retiring in 1988. During his tenure as CEO, assets grew to over $4 billion and new income increased six-fold.
O'Shields served as director of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) for 18 years and chairman for two years. He has been the director of the American Gas Association, director and chairman of the Gas Research Institute, director of the Southern Gas Association, director of the American Petroleum Institute, director of the Texas Research Institute, and a member of the National Petroleum Council.
During his term as chairman of the INGAA, the group developed gas industry recommendations to cope with the acute natural gas shortage in the winter of 1976-77, from which Congress enacted the Natural Gas Emergency Act of 1977.
O'Shields was a 1989-1990 inductee into LSU's Engineering Hall of Distinction, and became a member of OU's Engineering Distinguished Graduates Society in 1992. O'Shields endowed engineering scholarships at both universities to help deserving students. In 2005, O'Shields was honored as a member of OU's Seed Sower Society. The Seed Sower Society includes donors whose cumulative gifts to OU total $1 million.
O'Shields was predeceased by his wife of 63 years, Shirley. Surviving are children Sharon Boles of Del Rio, TX, Carolyn O'Shields of Kerrville, TX, and Rick O'Shields of Phoenix, AZ. Also surviving: five grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; and his beloved in-laws Martha & Joe Lucas of Holdenville, OK, and Bettye & Todd Dooly of Houston.
A memorial service will be held March 1, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Kerrville, TX. Those who wish may send flowers or make memorial donations to the Engineering Departments of either University of Oklahoma or Louisiana State University. Condolences for the family and/or personal memories of Mr. O'Shields may be submitted through Grimes' Web site: www.grimesfuneralchapels.com.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Feb. 21, 2014