Lake E-ffect Newsletter banner SUNY Oswego logoMarch 2011 • Vol 6 No 12

STEM Career in Oil Started at Oswego


Whether the gold is black or yellow, Jim Wallace '77 can dig it.

As a petrophysicist, he finds and measures oil and gas reserves around the world. As a businessman, he's extended the reach of Wallace International to include gold mining in Ghana.

Wallace's career started with Schlumberger Well Services and Mobil, where he analyzed data to determine reserves in areas around drilling sites.

"I really didn't know I was going to be in the oil and gas industry, but jobs were hard to come by - especially in my field," said Wallace, a physics major at Oswego who wanted to get into computer technology when he graduated.

The college prepared him very well for his 20-year career with Mobil and 10-plus years as managing director at his own consulting firm.

"We had a lot of one-on-one experience with the professors and built strong relationships with them," Wallace said. "It helped me form the foundation of the discipline."

Today his work, mostly mapping and testing oil- or natural gas-rich land, takes place around the world. In addition to working with companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron and Marathon, Wallace International is also dabbling in another valuable commodity buried in the dirt: gold.

The company got involved in an African mine last year to diversify its portfolio.

His relationships with fellow Oswegonians have served him well, too. Former classmate and lifelong friend Steve Chirello '77 of Fulton and his Chirello Advertising have handled all of Wallace's marketing, including a recent rebranding campaign.

— Shane M. Liebler

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