Yuri Fedorovich Makogon

May 15, 1930 – May 26, 2020

Yuri was born in Veseloe, Kherson Province, Ukraine (coordinates 47.37N,33.061E) to Fedor and Evfrosinia.

He was a Scientist, and an Academician. 

Among his main accomplishments, he discovered the gas hydrates in nature, established the TAMU Petroleum Engineering Gas Hydrates Laboratory, and made over 10 oil paintings and several thousand photographs of gas hydrate crystals.  

Dr. Yuri Makogon worked for more than 60 years in the oil and gas industry operations, education and research. 

Yuri began his petroleum career at the Kuban Petroleum College in Tuapse, Russia by earning a technologist degree with honors in 1951. Yuri continued his education at the Oil and Gas Gubkin Institute in Moscow. After graduating with top honors in 1956, he elected to go into operations.

He started to work at the Shebelinskoe gas field in the Ukraine, which was the largest gas field in Europe at that time. He progressed from an operator, to master to deputy field manager, and by 1959 returned to research in graduate school at the Moscow Oil and Gas Institute where he earned his Candidate of Science (Ph.D) in 1961. 

By 1961 he discovered gas hydrate deposits in nature and by 1965 obtained experimental proof for his discovery, which in 1969 was recorded in the USSR State Register as the discovery number 75, with the priority date of 25 July 1961. The vast reserves of gas hydrates provide both an enormous source of hydrocarbons and trap the hydrocarbons from escaping to the environment preventing global warming.

This work was presented in 1970 to great acclaim at the 11th International Gas Conference held in Moscow, which started research worldwide and provided employment for thousands of researchers.

Yuri became the world-renowned expert on gas hydrates and an astute research scholar of the water-gas phase behavior.  During 1965-1967, he and his wife were invited to live in India where he worked as a professor at the Dhanbad Indian School of Mines.

Upon returning to the USSR, Dr. Makogon has done the very first research on hydrate formation and dissociation in pore space and developed founding recommendations for gas production from hydrate fields and developed effective methods for the prevention and removal of large hydrate plugs in wells and pipelines. 

He also predicted and provided experimental proof during 1972-1974 that gas hydrates can be present in space: on Mars and on Venus, and later proved that hydrates can also exist on comets.

He earned his Doctor of Science title by 1975 and became a Full Professor in 1985.

Dr. Makogon was a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and full member of the Russian Academy of Natural Science. Yuri had established the first SPE section in the USSR, in Moscow, and was its first Chairman since 1990.

He came to Texas A&M University by invitation in 1993 to write a book on natural gas hydrates and worked at the Offshore Technology Research Center.  In 1995, he joined the faculty at the Department of Petroleum Engineering. Yuri created the Gas Hydrates Laboratory at the Petroleum Engineering Department, designed original equipment, and researched kinetics, morphology and properties of hydrate crystals.

He retired from A&M in 2008, and continued to live in College Station, working at the Hydrate Laboratory that he established on the 7th floor of Petroleum Engineering building, as well as guiding graduate students.

Dr. Yuri F. Makogon was recognized at the Sixth International Conference on Gas Hydrates in Vancouver, Canada, in July 2008 with a Lifetime Achievement Award of Honor for his pioneering work on gas hydrates in nature and in the laboratory.

Dr. Yuri F. Makogon received an Offshore Technology Conference Heritage Award recognizing his lifetime scientific accomplishments in 2016. The Heritage Award is one of a few distinguished achievement awards OTC gives annually in recognition of personal, cooperative and lifelong achievements in the oil and gas industry.

In 2016 Yuri F. Makogon also received the prestigious Robert Earll McConnell Award. It is an AIME major award that recognizes beneficial service to mankind by engineers through significant contributions that advance a nation’s standard of living or replenish its natural resource base. 

At TAMU, he wrote a book and several chapters for books. In addition to his discovery, he is the author of over 270 scientific papers, 8 books (four of which had been published in the USA), and 29 patents. He has a most cited author award from Elsevier Publishers.

His career in oil and gas education and research spans over 60 years. Prof. Makogon’s partial list of Awards and Honors: 
•Full member of the National Academy of Ukraine, 2009

•Award of Merit Recognition, 6th International Conference on Gas Hydrates, Vancouver, Canada, 2008

•Honorary Doctor of the Nikolaev Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences

•Albert Einstein Medal of Honor, Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, United States Section, 2002 

•Golden L. Kapitca Medal for Scientific Discovery, 1997 

•First Chairman of the Russian Chapter of the International Society of Petroleum Engineers, 1991

•Full Member and co-founder of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences of Russia, 1990 

•Laureate of the Gubkin State Prize, 1989 

•Honorary Diploma of the Mendeleev Union Society of Russia, 1982 

•Golden Jubilee Medal of Russia, 1970 

•Diploma of the Scientific Discovery Natural Gas Hydrates, 1969 

•The First Prize at Chess Tournament of Indian School of Mines, 1967 

•The First Prize at Young Petroleum Scientist Conference of Russia, 1965 

•Diploma of the Winner of the Ukraine Republican Inventors Competition, 1958

Yuri lived to be 90 years old. He passed away at the Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, surrounded by his family. Yuri is a father of two and has three grandchildren. He will be forever in our memories.



  1. I had numerous discussions with Dr Makogon during my graduate student years at Texas A&M. He had amazing insights and experience on how to best use experimental set-ups especially on gas hydrates to answer bigger questions on gas production from hydrates. He will be so much missed. My condolences to his family and friends. May his soul rest in peace!

  2. Yuri was an inspiring and gifted scientist and a warm friend and colleague. He will be greatly missed by those who were fortunate to have known him. My condolences to his family.

  3. My sincere condolences to his family and friends and colleagues. He contributed to my ASTM book on gas hydrate and last email exchange we had was just few months ago this past January.
    It was my honor to have worked with him few years ago.

  4. I would like to offer my Sincere Condolences. I was very fortunate to have known Dr. Makogon. He worked with me for six months in Calgary. WE had common interests in gas hydrates. He made very pioneering and valuable contributions in this field
    P.R. Bishnoi
    Professor Emeritus
    Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
    University of Calgary,
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada

  5. I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Yuri in his laboratory when I was a graduate student at PETE TAMU, 1999, always jovial, joking and cordial, I remember his Albert Einstein medal hanging in his laboratory, and I told him that he was one of the greats, to which told me he was a simple scientist. Interesting discussions of some of his experimental results from which I learned a little about him. I send condolences to his entire family, definitely a great human being. Rest in peace.

Accessibility Tools
construction update map

Due to the construction on S College Ave our facility is only accessible via Dellwood St. Please refer to this map for reference. Dellwood St can be accessed via Cavitt Ave and Texas Ave.

For more information, please visit the Bryan, TX website.