Robert A. Hefner III

Robert A. Hefner III is Founder and Owner of The GHK Company (, a private Oklahoma City natural gas and oil company, and author of The Grand Energy Transition. Hefner, who founded GHK in 1959, pioneered ultradeep natural gas exploration and production and led the development of innovative technology needed to successfully drill and produce many of the world’s deepest and highest pressure natural gas wells – setting many industry world records along the way. He is the true Father of Natural Gas and has been a leading proponent of America’s abundance of natural gas for several decades, testifying before Congress many times. In the 1970s, Hefner was a leader in the industry’s successful efforts to deregulate the price of natural gas. These technological and political accomplishments led to the industry’s success in establishing large new supplies of American natural gas.

Since the 1980s, Hefner has pursued his interest in China in the areas of energy, foreign affairs and art. The Hefner Collection ( is recognized as one of the world’s most important collections of contemporary Chinese oil paintings from the period following the Cultural Revolution. Hefner is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of London, a member of Singapore’s International Advisory Panel (IAP) on Energy, a Member of the International Council at the Belfer Center at Harvard, a Director of the American Clean Skies Foundation and a former Board member of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. Hefner and his wife MeiLi initiated and support the Robert and MeiLi Hefner Foundation ( They have brought rising young Chinese government officials to study in the fields of energy, culture and foreign policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and the National University of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. The Foundation also sends outstanding high school students from USA to visit Singapore and China.

Hefner holds a geology degree from the University of Oklahoma. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2010. A documentary, “The Grand Energy Transition”, inspired by Hefner’s book of the same name, was released in Spring 2012 and the Chinese edition of The Grand Energy Transition book released in 2013.