WATFORD CITY -- This year’s 2019 North Dakota Petroleum Council’s Hall of Fame inductee originally wanted to be a veterinarian, but a summer job as a landman for her father led her down a different road.
Lynn Moser, the daughter of Kay and Berk Strothman, is the latest inductee to the Hall of Fame this year. The Bismarck woman who has deep and wide roots in North Dakota’s oil and gas industry was honored last week at the Petroleum Council's annual meeting in Watford City.
Her father Berk is a North Dakota oil pioneer himself, founding Inland Oil and Gas in 1967. Moser is currently that company’s president.
Moser, in accepting the award, recalled hearing her father testify and advocate for North Dakota’s oil and gas industry.
“That is where it all begins, is getting involved in and educating the public and policy members,” she said.
She also recalled watching some of her fellow inductees, such as Al Golden and many others, working on behalf of the oil and gas industry, who she said were inspiring role models.
“It’s the people who go before you that influence you and make you want to step into those positions,” she said.
Inland Oil and Gas is now in its 52nd year, Moser said, a number it holds in common with Continental Oil, also in its 52nd year.
“I mentioned that to Harold Hamm that we have that in common. I just have to ask dad what happened,” she said, in jest. “We didn’t quite make it that far. But we have done very well.”
Moser said in today’s world she has seen a lot of negativity focused on the oil and gas industry.
“But you know that our oil and gas industry has far more positives than negatives,” she said. “And you should take pride in how North Dakota is playing a major role in the energy sector and stabilization in the world. So thank you all for the work you will do today and tomorrow to make this energy source as clean and as affordable as it is today, and thank you very much for this honor.”
Before beginning her oil and gas career, Moser obtained a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from NDSU, planning to attend veterinary school.
NDSU is also where she met her husband, Wade, himself a past Agriculturist of the Year — considered the state’s Hall of Fame for Agriculture. The couple married in 1980.
Moser discovered a fascination with digging through mineral leases and well files during summer breaks, working for her father as a landman.
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She began her oil and gas career in 1978 running titles for her father. Eventually, she led her own teams of landmen as a broker. She also developed and operated a shallow-gas play in South Dakota.
Moser later led Inland into a large leasing play in the mid-2000s, which changed the company’s focus to non-operated working interests. She became Inland’s president in 1991.
Moser was the first female president of the Landman’s Association of North Dakota from 1987 to 1989. While serving in that role she gave birth to her first daughter, Kate, who now serves as that organization’s president. Her father was president of that organization before 1975.
Moser was named Landman of the Year in 2012 by the association, an award her father had won 30 years before.
Although Moser was at first barred from joining the Dakota Petroleum Club, a social club that at the time considered itself male only, she was appointed to the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission by Gov. Ed Schafer, a Democrat. She continued to serve in that role under Republican governors John Hoeven and Jack Dalrymple.
Eventually, the Dakota Petroleum Club opened its ranks to female members, after several of its members dropped their memberships in protest.
Moser was also Vice President of the Independent Association of Mountain States, which ultimately became the North Dakota Oil and Gas Association and the North Dakota Petroleum Council.
Moser has been an active and dedicated advocate for North Dakota’s oil and gas industry since 1999, often testifying on bills at the legislature, or working as a volunteer to support key initiatives.
Moser and her husband, Wade, have two daughters, Kate and Twyla, and three granddaughters. Both of her daughters are engineers and work with her at Inland Oil & Gas.
The Petroleum Council also presented other awards during its annual meeting.
Safety award: Fortis Energy Services won for its iScout Safety Software, rolled out in 2018. The program allows each user to upload observations about an incident, which can instantly be reviewed. By developing a better understanding of incidents and their root causes, Fortis has reduced its recordable incident rate by 75 percent.
Community engagement: Hess won for its investment in educational outreach including more than $1 million the company invested in Hess Toy Truck and STEM education kits for elementary schools across the state. The curriculum for the program uses the iconic toy as a learning tool to engage elementary students in science, technology, engineering and math in fun and interesting ways. The company also sponsored an initiative in Beulah for high school students, introducing an oil spill response program to educate them on emergency response procedures.
Outstanding Public Service award: Sen. Jessica Unruh, R-Beulah, won for her efforts advocating for business friendly policies in the state of North Dakota. She was a prime sponsor of the bill that created a standalone Department of Environmental Quality, a cosponsor of the lake bed minerals bill that returned mineral rights to thousands of acres of private landowners living along Lake Sakakawea, and a prime sponsor of the recently approved pore space bill, which oil and gas industry experts have said was critical to clarifying issues important to the oil and gas industry.