STEER Announces Winners of 11th Annual Eagle Ford Excellence Awards

SAN ANTONIO – The South Texas Energy and Economic Roundtable (STEER), announced today that Titan Fuel, Valero Three Rivers Refinery, Texan by Nature, Port of Corpus Christi, Devon Energy and ConocoPhillips are the recipients of the 2023 Eagle Ford Excellence Awards. The awards honor companies and organizations working in or with the oil and natural gas industry for their diligent efforts in protecting the environment, developing innovative technologies, making safety a top priority and giving back to the communities they serve. STEER also awarded its Eagle Ford Excellence Award to the Honorable James E. Teal, McMullen County Judge.

This year’s awards, which recognize excellence in the areas of Community and Social Investment, Environmental Stewardship, Neighborhood Impression, and Innovation in Technology, were presented at a luncheon event in San Antonio.

“The recipients of the 11th annual Eagle Ford Excellence Award raised the bar for the innovative ways they serve their communities, protect and improve the environment and incorporate the latest technologies into their operations. It is an honor to recognize the contributions of these industry leaders, community partners and dedicated elected officials, whose efforts are strengthening South Texas communities and bolstering our nation’s energy security every day,” said Glynis Strause, Stakeholder Relations Director at ConocoPhillips and chair of the STEER Advisory Council.

Recipients of the 2023 Eagle Ford Excellence Awards:

Community and Social Investment (fewer than 250 employees): Titan Fuel
In 2022 Titan Fuel launched a new, robust and transformative Community Impact Initiative: “FUEL for the Community” (Fostering Unity & Empowering Livelihood). The program includes charity donations of over $100,000 to 70 local nonprofit organizations, a company-sponsored employee volunteer program which logged more than 3,900 service hours at seven local nonprofit organizations, and year-round advocacy and support for various causes. The program solidified relationships and inspired the community to unite and do more for each other.

Community and Social Investment (more than 250 employees): Valero Three Rivers Refinery
In 2022, Valero’s Three Rivers Refinery generated more than $1.4 million for charities, civic organizations and schools through direct and in-kind donations, fundraising and volunteerism in Live Oak and surrounding counties. Employees from the Three Rivers Refinery logged more than 3,000 volunteer hours including numerous drives to collect school supplies, diapers and other items. Valero’s contributions supported a new Live Oak County Health Center, Bee County Habitat for Humanity’s work to build a veteran a new home, the Three Rivers Volunteer Fire Department, a food pantry in partnership with Communities in Schools and the Coastal Bend Food Bank, and various improvements to the South Live Oak Little League field.

Environmental Stewardship (fewer than 250 employees): Texan by Nature
Texan by Nature has partnered with many Texas oil and gas companies to carry out its goal of bringing conservation and business together to advance conservation efforts across Texas. In 2022 and 2023, the group partnered with Marathon Oil to source and plant 100 trees across the Kenedy ISD Campus in Karnes County, which will increase tree canopy in South Texas and provide scientifically proven environmental impacts, including carbon sequestration, as well as improve the quality of life, public health, property values, and access to nature for the community and school district. Beyond the trees, the school also received new picnic tables for students to enjoy the outdoors and resources for a pollinator garden planted by their agriculture education students.

Environmental Stewardship (more than 250 employees): Port of Corpus Christi
Since 2017, the Port of Corpus Christi Authority has been an active member of Green Marine, an internationally recognized third-party certification initiative focused on enhancing environmental and social impacts within the maritime industry. The Port has undertaken several enhancement efforts that have been recognized by Green Marine including reducing Greenhouse Gas and Air Emissions through an anti-idling policy, and two emissions inventories by emissions accounting expert, Starcrest. The Port also enhanced environmental stewardship through involvement in EPA-supported research for emission capture technology on vessels, with a report on findings expected this year, installation of a solar-powered trash skimmer through an EPA collaboration to prevent waste from entering the inner harbor, and efforts to address dust-generating operations, including a comprehensive air monitoring network with six monitors at the bulk terminal to curb particulate matter from dust-generating activities, plus dust suppression equipment like water birds, covered conveyors, and dust bosses.

Neighborhood Impression: Devon Energy
Following an article in the Wilson County News that described a somewhat neglected statue named the “Christ of Karnes County,” Devon Energy employees mobilized to right the wrong. With right of way and production projects already active in the area, a team of Devon Energy employees gathered the resources, did the research for land permissions and accessibility, and got the land cleared. Today, the “Christ of Karnes County” statue, located on a remote hill near the intersection of County Roads 197 and 215, is no longer obscured by brush and is in full view as it was originally intended by the owner, casting its shadow across the nearby intersection.

Innovation in Technology: ConocoPhillips
In 2022, ConocoPhillips relocated its Integrated Operations Center supporting its Eagle Ford Operations to its main field office in Kenedy, strengthening integration with field-based functions and unlocking opportunities to run Eagle Ford operations more safely and efficiently. Benefits of having the new high-tech Integrated Operations Center based in the Eagle Ford include live access to personnel location relative to field infrastructure, prompt access to information that may be needed by emergency services, such as 911 addresses to gates, and a 24/7 phone-line to community members in the event of emergencies. Since the Operations Center relocated, community leaders have had the opportunity to tour the Center, and ConocoPhillips plans to provide similar engagement opportunities for high school students, the area’s future community leaders. Awareness of the Kenedy-based Integrated Operations Center as a resource to surrounding communities has amplified, with heightened transparency of how ConocoPhillips leverages technology to operate in the Eagle Ford.

Eagle Ford Excellence Award: The Honorable James E. Teal, McMullen County Judge
The Honorable James E. Teal has been McMullen County Judge for nearly 14 years and has served his community since the very beginning of the Eagle Ford Shale. As a former oil and natural gas employee, Judge Teal knows firsthand the economic impacts and benefits oil and natural gas development can bring to a historically poor region of Texas. During his tenure as county judge, he has spearheaded development of critical infrastructure and planning for what is now one of the richest counties in America. Today, McMullen County has dedicated millions of dollars to road development and maintenance, established a first-class Local Emergency Planning Committee and brings in doctors weekly to serve local residents. STEER recognized Judge Teal with this award for his vision and commitment to his community and for recognizing the importance of the oil and natural gas industry for families and the economy of the Eagle Ford region. 

Thank you to our sponsors!


Devon Energy
Energy Transfer
EOG Resources
Marathon Oil
Marathon Petroleum
Texas Mutual Insurance
TXOGA Insurance Agency
Valero Energy

Cheniere Energy
Port of Corpus Christi


About South Texas Energy and Economic Roundtable (STEER)
STEER is the leading Eagle Ford Shale resource in the region and is the primary coordinator for communication and public advocacy surrounding the oil and natural gas industry in South Texas. STEER serves as the bridge connecting the industry and communities throughout South Texas to ensure positive collaboration and communication surrounding the activities associated with energy production in the Eagle Ford Shale and Rio Grande Valley. In 2018, the boards of STEER and TXOGA approved the merger of STEER into TXOGA. The merger was finalized on January 1, 2020.

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