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KNEBEL, GEORGE MOSES (1899–1974). G. Moses Knebel, petroleum geologist and explorer, was born in Waco, Texas, on May 15, 1899. He attended primary and secondary school in Waco and in 1922 received a B.A. in geology from the University of Texas. After graduation, Mose, as he was affectionately called, married Carolyn Gladdish. They had a son and a daughter. Knebel began his career as an independent consultant with Gulf Production Company of Laredo and Freeport Sulphur Company. In 1924 his lifelong relationship with Standard Oil Company of New Jersey (now Exxon Company, U.S.A.) began. He became engrossed in field exploration and contributed to many discoveries of salt domes and significant oil and gas reserves in East Texas. In 1930 Knebel began exploration in Venezuela. In 1939 Standard Oil transferred him to its New York office and in 1944 promoted him to manager of the exploration division. Knebel directed the acreage acquisition and exploration in North Africa and the Middle East, as well as pioneering oilfields in Canada, France, and Libya. He published several papers on petroleum geology and in the 1940s chaired API Project 43, which researched the origins of petroleum. He retired from Standard in 1959. Knebel was a member and president (1955) of American Association of Petroleum Geologists. In 1974 he was awarded the Sidney Powers Memorial Medal for outstanding petroleum geologists. The University of Texas established the Carolyn G. and G. Moses Knebel Teaching Fund in the Geology Foundation. Knebel was a hunter, a fisher, and a gardener. He was a member of St. David's Episcopal Church, Austin. Knebel died on November 16, 1974, in Austin.


Austin American-Statesman, November 17, 18, 1974. Merrill W. Haas, "G. M. Knebel (1899–1974)," Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists 59 (June 1975).

Kris Ercums


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Kris Ercums, "KNEBEL, GEORGE MOSES," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 30, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.