James “Jim” M. Barnum

On January 21, 1957, James “Jim” Barnum was born in Atlanta. Barnum lived in the small town of Smyrna, Ga., until he was 10-years-old and then relocated to Seabrook, Texas, near Houston. He graduated from Clear Lake High School in 1975 and was accepted into The University of Texas at Austin petroleum engineering program in the fall of 1975.

Barnum graduated from UT PGE with the highest honors in December of 1978. In January of 1979, he married his wife Beth (Anderson) Barnum with whom he has shared the last 40-plus years of a wonderful life. He started his career with Texaco in Humble, Texas. Barnum was promoted to his first supervisory role as a lead or area engineer in Pampa, Texas in 1981. He also had opportunities to return to the UT campus as a recruiter for Texaco. 

Barnum continued to advance in engineering management levels and later in operations management and asset development. When Chevron purchased Texaco, Barnum came across as the area manager for CO2 floods in the lower 48 states in the U.S. In 2004, Barnum was named general manager of operations in Midland, Texas for Chevron’s Mid-Continent Business Unit. In addition, Barnum joined the UT PGE External Advisory Committee, where he served for three years and was the committee chairman for the last year. 

Barnum was involved in Chevron’s recruiting effort at UT PGE and co-led Chevron to be the No. 1 recruiter at UT PGE for numerous years. Barnum was on the committee that established the UT PGE Distinguished Alumni Program. He led the effort to set up a scholarship from contributions of UT PGE alumni at Chevron and he and his wife also set up a personal UT PGE scholarship. Barnum continued to work for Chevron in the Chevron Pipeline Group and finally retired from the job of general manager for operations of pipeline in February of 2017. 

He and his wife have two sons and seven grandchildren. Their eldest son, Casey Barnum, has a Master of Accountancy from the University of Houston and is living in Houston with his wife and three children. The youngest son, Bradley Barnum, has a Bachelor of Science in petroleum engineering from UT PGE and is living in Sumatra, Indonesia with his wife and their four children.