Joe Brevetti wasn’t destined for the oilfield.
There was no rich family history of roughnecks, geologists, or petroleum engineers.
No pumpjacks or drilling rigs dotting the landscape of his Waterbury, Conn., hometown.
But when graduation came at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., the young engineer had decided he was headed to either southern California or south Texas after watching a movie about the oil and gas industry and watching the previous year’s RPI graduates accept jobs with industry giants like Mobil, Exxon, and Shell.
Brevetti found an employer in Schlumberger, and to south Texas he went, completing his training at Corpus Christi and then moving to Pleasanton, where he started his 29-year career with the oilfield services company.
Four decades later, Brevetti now has his own oil and gas company — Charter Oak Production — and in November he was named Member of the Year by The Petroleum Alliance.
The award is given annually, recognizing an individual’s contributions to the Alliance and to the state’s oil and natural gas industry as a whole. The award was presented during The Alliance’s 2023 Fall Conference.
“It’s about wanting to give back to an industry that has been so good to us,” said Brevetti, who works side by side with his wife, Barbara, at Charter Oak. “We have to have new people and new voices to promote our industry.”
Brevetti became one of those new voices when he joined the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association, a Petroleum Alliance legacy organization. At the time, the industry was embroiled in a heated debate over long-lateral drilling, and Brevetti immediately joined the committee tasked with developing long-lateral legislation.
“This is what it was going to take to make Oklahoma competitive with other states,” Brevetti said of the legislation.
Approved in 2017, the Oklahoma Energy Jobs Act allows long-lateral drilling in all geologic formations, and its passage launched a new era of drilling activity in the state that pushed Oklahoma oil production to record heights.
Brevetti’s Charter Oak Production Co. operates 200 wells in Oklahoma and Texas and drills approximately six new wells each year. Although small, the company is one of the state’s leaders in drilling horizontal wells with lateral lengths of more than two miles.
In presenting the Member of the Year award, Petroleum Alliance President Brook A. Simmons told Fall Conference attendees Brevetti had represented the industry well as it emerged from the COVID lockdown through multiple interactions with the national media and public officials, including a video interview with “The Washington Post,” a print interview with “The Wall Street Journal,” and testimony to the U.S. House Committee on Ways & Means.
“I can’t tell you how big of an honor this is to me,” Brevetti said. “Right after the day I got married and when my children and grandchildren were born, this is one of the proudest days of my life to be recognized by this industry.”