Petrochemical Heritage Award

Without petrochemistry we wouldn’t be missing just gasoline for our cars: we’d be missing such things as nylon, linoleum, and Plexiglas. The Petrochemical Heritage Award was established in 1997 to recognize individuals who made outstanding contributions to this vital field.

The Petrochemical Heritage Award recognizes those whose contributions to public understanding are noteworthy, who have displayed significant entrepreneurship in the petrochemical profession or industry, and who have been active in philanthropic and/or communal affairs. It is presented with the Founders Club each year at the International Petrochemical Conference, held by the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers.

2021 Awardee: Jim Teague

Jim Teague, chief executive officer of Enterprise Products, will receive the 2021 Petrochemical Heritage Award. The award will be presented during this year’s International Petrochemical Conference being held October 17–19 in San Antonio.


Headshot of 2020 Petro Award winner Jim Teague

Jim Teague

Jim Teague was born and raised in Louisiana. After graduating from East Texas Baptist University, he went to Officer Candidate School in the U.S. Navy. Upon commissioning he served in an attack helicopter squadron in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. After discharge from the navy Teague had several sales jobs before finding his way into sales at Dow Chemical, where he rose to become vice president of feedstocks.

After retiring from Dow he served as president of MAPCO Trading and Marketing and then as president of Shell Oil’s midstream business. When Shell sold this business to Enterprise Products in 1999, Teague became an executive vice president at Enterprise. The petrochemical business at Enterprise includes propylene, isobutylene, MTBE, and ethylene. More than 40% of current projects are in the petrochemical business segment and include propane dehydrogenation, propylene storage, distribution and export, and ethylene storage, distribution, and export.

Teague subsequently became Enterprise’s chief operating officer and chief commercial officer. In 2010 he was made a director and in 2016 was named as the CEO. Teague’s role in the growth of Enterprise’s value from less than $1.5 billion in 1999 to more than $90 billion today is the highlight of his career.

Other honors include the J. Wesley Smith Achievement Award and an honorary doctorate of humanities from his alma mater. He was named the CEO of the Year three consecutive years by Institutional Investor. He received the Entrepreneur of the Year from the Gas Processors Association, and later this year he will be named the CEO of the Year by the Houston Port Bureau.

Teague holds an undergraduate degree, but his time in the navy was more of an education than college. Being a naval officer made him a part of a special fraternity where one learned what teamwork means and how powerful teamwork can be. The opportunity to work for Dan Duncan for 10 years before he died provided another educational experience that proved to be a graduate education beyond any doctoral degree offered by any university. Teague asserts that any success he has had over the last 20 years comes from working alongside Duncan and learning that details matter.

Previous Winners of the Petrochemical Heritage Award

  • Albert and James Chao (2019)
  • Gary K. Adams (2018)
  • David Weidman (2017)
  • Stephen Pryor (2016)
  • James Gallogly (2015)
  • Frank Popoff (2014)
  • Jim Ratcliffe (2013)
  • Marvin Schlanger (2012)
  • Raj Gupta (2011)
  • Hiromasa Yonekura (2010)
  • Mohamed Al-Mady (2009)
  • Peter Huntsman and Dave Swalm (2008)
  • Dan Duncan (2007)
  • J. Virgil Waggoner (2006)
  • T. T. Chao (2005)
  • William McMinn Jr. (2004)
  • Harold A. Sorgenti (2003)
  • Herbert E. Doan (2002)
  • Jon M. Huntsman (2001)
  • Ralph Landau (2000)
  • John R. Hall (1999)
  • John T. Files (1998)
  • Gordon Cain (1997)

About the Sponsors

The Founders Club was founded in 1981 by a group of petrochemical-industry executives who participated in the establishment of the Petrochemical Committee of the NPRA (now AFPM) and ultimately generated the International Petrochemicals Conference (IPC) as a separate identity within NPRA. The Founders Club today is a select group of individuals with a minimum of 25 years of distinguished service in the petrochemical industry. The club proudly advances the legacy inherited from these original “Founders” as contributing stewards of the petrochemical industry with a respect for the past (legacy), activities for the present (networking), and support for the future (recognition).

American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) is a trade association representing high-tech American manufacturers of virtually the entire U.S. supply of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, other fuels and home heating oil, as well as the petrochemicals used as building blocks for thousands of vital products in daily life.