Marlan is former President of the AAPG, an elected Fellow of the American Associates for the Advancement of Science, a Senior Fellow of the Institute for the study of Earth and Man at SMU, and a fellow of the Geological Society of the United Kingdom. Marlan was knighted by President Biya of Cameroon for his service to that country. He has been honored by the world’s largest geological society as “A Living Legend in the Oil and Gas Business” and has been a distinguished lecturer for several geosciences organizations. Marlan had a thirty-year career with Shell Oil in management and research, retiring as President of Shell (Pecten) International in 1987. After a brief retirement during which he founded Roxanna Oil Company, he joined ARCO, serving as President of ARCO International for seven years. After retiring from ARCO, he became Bartell Professor of Geoscience at the University of Oklahoma, and Chief Scientist at the Sarkeys Energy Center.
In 2000, he organized and chaired the Presidential Energy Policy Symposium in Washington, DC. In 2002, he received the R.H. Dott award for best geologic publication, and in 2003 he received the Hedberg Medal for outstanding scientific achievements. In 2005, he was honored as a “Legendary Oil Finder” by the Petroleum History Foundation. In 2008, Marlan received the Sidney Powers Memorial Award, the highest honor bestowed by the AAPG, for his outstanding contributions to oil and gas exploration.
Marlan has led exploration teams in 62 countries, has an extraordinary record of consistent successes in his sixty-year career and shows no signs of stopping there.