OREANDA-NEWS. November 11, 2015. The American Petroleum Institute (API) awarded its highest honor – the Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement – to J. Larry Nichols of Devon Energy Corporation in recognition of his outstanding leadership and service to the oil and natural gas industry, his community, and the nation.

“Larry Nichols has been a pioneer of the U.S. oil and natural gas industry,” said API President and CEO Jack Gerard. “His entrepreneurial spirit and vision helped to create and guide one of America’s leading independent energy companies.”

Nichols led Devon Energy for more than four decades, providing steady leadership during both good and challenging economic times and helped to grow Devon Energy from five employees in 1971 to more than 5,000 today, according to Gerard. Nichols served as Devon Energy’s executive chairman since June 2010 after serving as chief executive for three decades.

“His passion, personal integrity, advocacy and leadership have been a significant positive force for the oil and natural gas industry and an important part of America’s 21st century energy renaissance,” Gerard said. “In recognition of his outstanding leadership and distinguished service to our industry, the community and our nation, the American Petroleum Institute awards Larry Nichols its highest honor – the Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement.”

Prior to his career in the oil and natural gas industry, Nichols distinguished himself as an attorney and served our nation as law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren and Justice Tom Clark. He then served as special assistant to then-Assistant Attorney General William Rehnquist in the U.S. Department of Justice.

Nichols is also a graduate of two of our nation’s leading institutions of higher education, Princeton University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in geology, and the University of Michigan, where he earned a juris doctorate.

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 625 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 25 million Americans.