Ken Nelson

Ken Nelson was born in Austin, Texas, in 1948 and graduated from Austin High School in 1966. Due to exposure to the oil industry when in elementary school, he enrolled in the Petroleum Engineering department at The University of Texas at Austin and graduated with a Bachelor of Science with Highest Honors in 1970. Several logging courses and meetings with Dr. Sylvain Pirson instilled a great interest in geology during his undergraduate years. He began employment with Pan American Petroleum in Midwest, Wyoming, in 1971 as a production and development engineer and took an educational leave of absence to return to UT Austin to earn a Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering in 1973 while working for the Texas Petroleum Research Committee. His graduate supervisor was Dr. Ben Caudle.

Ken NelsonHe then returned to work in Midland, Texas, as a reservoir engineer for Texas International Petroleum (TIPCO) and was responsible for production in the Midland Basin and New Mexico, and transferred to New Orleans, Louisiana, in mid-1974 to remap and analyze TIPCO’s largest asset, Eloi Bay Half Moon Lake Field, in St. Bernard Parish. He was subsequently transferred to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, as a reservoir engineer and later promoted to exploitation manager for TIPCO in Houston, developing Gulf Coast Austin Chalk, Miocene, and Yequa reservoirs. In 1982, Ken joined a new company comprised of former TIPCO executives to head a Lower Cretaceous Carbonate development drilling program. In 1984, the company morphed into Patterson Petroleum and much later Patterson-UTI Energy in Houston, drilling wells all along the Upper Texas Gulf Coast and in West Texas. During the 1987 downturn, he moved to Austin but very soon continued to develop Austin Chalk, Buda, Georgetown, Edwards and Glen Rose prospects for Patterson Petroleum.

In 2007, he formed CML Exploration, LLC, located in Austin, after purchasing the operations of all Patterson wells. CML today operates and manages more than 330 wells in four distinct areas producing together about 4500 BOPD and 10 MMCFD with its primary offices in Austin, Snyder, Houston and Crystal City, Texas, and drills about 20 wells per year. CML employs nearly 100 people, including crews for six well service rigs.

Ken lives in Austin with his wife of 35 years, Carol, and three adult children and one grandchild who also reside in Austin.