Coy Squyres was one of the first geologists to explore and map the geology of Egypt and Libya in 1954, before their massive oil fields were detected. His academic and technical work was a basis for the discovery of these legendary reserves. He became known as "Oklahoma's Magellan of the Desert". In 1959 in Tripoli, Libya, three companies, Conoco, Marathon, and Amerada Hess formed a consortium that became Oasis Oil, and it was 33 year old Coy Squyres whom they appointed to find the oil as their Vice President of Exploration. Under his direction, Oasis Oil discovered twenty-eight billion barrels of oil that quickly saw production reach a level of one million barrels per day. Squyres served as direct liaison between the Libyan Government and Oasis.
In 1974, recognized for his pattern of success, Squyres was named as President of Conoco Middle East/Conoco Egypt, in Cairo. Establishing two Egyptian subsidiaries, Geisum Oil and Khalda Oil, once again under Squyres' direction, the substantial oil fields of Western Egypt were discovered, with 1.2 billion barrels of recoverable oil and one trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves. Squyres served as Conoco's liaison with Anwar Sadat's Egyptian Government.
While still serving as President of Conoco/Geisum/Khalda, Squyres in 1986 relocated to Saudi Arabia to pursue oil fields there and in Yemen, Qatar and Jordan, as well as to establish relations with their governments and royal families. Until the beginning of Desert Storm, he was negotiating with Iraq for the West Kerna Field and its 30 billion barrel reserve. In 1991 he resigned from Conoco to permanently return to the United States in 1991.
Accepting an offer by United Meridian (UMC, later Ocean Energy and recently Devon Petroleum) to develop its first International Oil Exploration Division, Squyres became President of UMC. Acquiring certain concessions, tracking geological leads, and negotiating successful West African government agreements, Squyres led UMC from its 1991 level of $200 million to a 1997 level of $2 billion. The principal factors behind this phenomenal expansion occurred in West Africa's Cote d'Ivoire with its Panther Gas Field reserves of 400 billion cubic feet of gas and corresponding Lion Oil Field reserves of 40 million barrels of oil. Equally significant were the finds in Equatorial Guinea at the Zafiro Field which currently produces 290,000 barrels of oil per day from reserves of 1.3 billion barrels of recoverable oil .
In 1996 Equatorial Guinea's President Obiang formally knighted Squyres with the Commander of National Order, First Class. The following year, 1997, Cote d'Ivoire's President Kopnana Bedie formally knighted Squvres with the Commander of the Legion of Honor for the role Squyres played in converting an oil-importing nation into a oil-exporting nation. At the time of his death, Squyres still served as an economic advisor to President Obiang.
In 1998 Mobil Oil, Arco, and Bechtel Corporation formed a joint subsidiary, Xpronet, to explore an international portfolio of projects in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Hungary, Madagascar, and Kuwait. It was Coy Squyres who was asked to assemble and direct this company as its CEO/President. The mission was to establish a presence in these countries where, in their own name, these companies could not go. With the mergers of Mobil and Exxon, and ARCO and BP, Xpronet ceased existence in 2001.
Coy Squyres was born in Kansas on April 3, 1919. He served in the US Navy as a radio gunner on carrier based torpedo bombers from 1944 to 1946. He married Irene in Cairo in 1955, and they raised five children. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Petroleum Geology. Squyres edited and wrote books on the geology of Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey and Italy. He produced the first ever geological map of Egypt which was printed by Conoco and the Research Institute of Germany. Squyres' leadership and geological work contributed to the world's wealth by locating, negotiating for, and putting into production billions of barrels of oil. He died March 10, 2012.