Hall of Distinction Class of 1987-1988

Louis Claudmire (L.C.) Soileau III was born and raised in Rayne, Louisiana.

In 1936 he enrolled at Louisiana State University as a freshman in petroleum engineering. After graduating, instead of going to work in the oil fields as planned, he went into the military service as a second lieutenant for one year. Almost five years later he was mustered out as a major and accepted a position with The California Company (a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation or the old Standard Oil Company of California) as a roughneck-roustabout. These assignments quickly gave way to construction and drilling engineer assignments which in time led to numerous supervisory positions. His responsibilities increased along with his job locations. New assignments took him to southern Louisiana and the offshore, South America (the operations also included Tanbero, an asphalt plant and a topping plant), the Rocky Mountains, the West Coast and Alaska.

Mr. Soileau returned to New Orleans where in 1971, he was made president of The California Company. In 1976 the move was back to the West Coast as a senior vice president of the newly organized Chevron U.S.A. with responsibilities for all of the exploration, land and producing operations in the United States. In 1981 Mr. Soileau was made vice president of Standard Oil Company of California (now Chevron Corporation). He was elected director of both Gulf Corporation and Gulf Canada, Ltd., in 1984.

Now retired, he has for several years enjoyed a consulting contract with Bechtel Investments, Inc.

During the years of these moves and increasing responsibilities many of the current assisted and enhanced recovery oilfield operations were initiated. Mr. Soileau's units were in the forefront of discovery in many areas such as thermal, fire and/or stream, huff-puff, and floods. Other activities requiring innovative engineering were pioneering drilling and production in the Gulf of Mexico in 1948, town lot drilling in the city of Los Angeles, and learning to cope with the frigid conditions of the North Slope of Alaska.

Mr. Soileau, during his many employment assignments served on the boards of the United Fund, Boy Scouts of America, and symphonies in numerous cities. The Chamber of Commerce and the Junior Chamber of Commerce have benefited from his experience. He was on the board and/or served as committee chairman of the Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, the Louisiana-Mississippi Oil and Gas Association, the Rock Mountain Association, the West Coast-Alaska Oil and Gas Association, and the American Petroleum Institute. Mr. Soileau was one of the founding directors of the National Ocean Industry Association. He was appointed by former Secretary of Interior James Watt to serve as a member of the Outer Continental Policy Committee. He served on the board of directors of the LSU Foundation and as a member of the President's Advisory Council of Loyola University in New Orleans. he has been listed in Who's Who in America and was appointed by former President Richard M. Nixon to and environmental protection commission established to assist the U.S.S.R.

Through his exemplary industry advancements and unselfish devotion of time to worthy civic causes, L. C. Soileau has distinguished himself as truly outstanding in his field. The College of Engineering is proud to welcome him to the Engineering Hall of Distinction.