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Michael D. Kuykendall

Michael D. Kuykendall

2018 Distinguished Alumni

B.S. Geology '82 M.S. Geology '85

Mike Kuykendall was born in Paris, Arkansas, and grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after spending a few early years in Southern California. He graduated from Nathan Hale High School in Tulsa in 1976 and ended up at Oklahoma State University in 1978 after scooping (and eating) ice cream at his parents’Baskin-Robbins store for several years, in addition to working as a frame carpenter building houses in the greater Tulsa area.


Kuykendall earned undergraduate and graduate geology degrees from Oklahoma State University in 1982 and 1985, respectively. He and his late wife raised three sons who are all now married with wonderful wives and families in Tulsa. Kuykendall remarried, and he and his wife, Karen, live on 35 acres in Skiatook, Oklahoma, and are in the final stages of building their dream home on the northern shores of beautiful Skiatook Lake in Osage County.


As current Geoscience Manager at Felix Energy, Kuykendall divides his time between working in Denver at the company’s headquarters, and from his home in Skiatook. He has over 35 years of domestic and international oil and gas experience, and while in graduate school worked as a well-site geologist for Earth Energy Resources, a small oil and gas company in Stillwater, which was his first introduction to the oil patch.


After school, he joined MASERA Corporation in Tulsa and worked with an exceptional group of OSU geologists and mentors who helped him form a firm foundation as an exploration geologist. In the mid-1990s Kuykendall formed Solid Rock Resources, Inc., and worked as a geological consultant on numerous exploration and development research projects for independent and major oil companies. He went on to work for Phillips Petroleum in Bartlesville, ConocoPhillips in Houston, and Vintage Petroleum, Apache, and Newfield Exploration in Tulsa.


Kuykendall has in-depth exploration and development expertise and experience in the Mid-Continent andPermian Basin, as well as other domestic and international basins. He has authored and co-authored many papers, presentations and studies on various geologic aspects of oil and gas reservoirs, as well as on regional plays and oil-field discoveries, including the historic giant Glenn Pool Oil Field in eastern Oklahoma, the unique oil and gas producing Ames Crater in western Oklahoma, and the giant Peng Lai 19-3 offshore oilfield in Bohai Bay, China.


His main professional interests center around the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbon resources, with an in-depth focus on the rocks. He is Past-Chairman of the Boone Pickens School of Geology Alumni Board, Past-President of the Tulsa Geological Society, and a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. Kuykendall enjoys the great outdoors and the exciting element of discovery, which has fueled his geoscience interests and 35-year career as a geologist, but he particularly loves spending time with his family, grandchildren, friends and the rocks!

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