Michel T. Halbouty

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Biography Citation for SEG Honorary Membership

Michel T. Halbouty has few peers as a contributor to and defender of the professions of geology, geophysics, engineering and the free enterprise system within which these professions operate best. He is being honored by the SEG for his outstanding service as a spokesman to the public on behalf of the petroleum exploration industry and for his contributions to exploration geophysics by organizing and promoting the use of remote sensing as an exploration tool.

Mike Halbouty graduated from Texas A&M University, receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1930 and a Master of Science Degree in 1931, both with a double major in geology and petroleum engineering. He is a firm believer in continuing education as evidenced by his return to Texas A&M University 25 years after his graduation to receive his Professional Geological Engineering Degree in 1956. He is also the recipient of an honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering conveyed in 1966 by the Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology.

In 1931 he began a long and distinguished career as a geologist, engineer, and oil finder. By the time he was called to active duty in the Army in 1942, he had been geologically responsible for the discovery of eight oil fields in Texas and Louisiana and had written the book Petrographic and Physical Characteristics of Sands from Seven Gulf Coast Producing Horizons. He was detached from Army service in September 1945, with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel having served as an Infantry officer, and as Instructor in military science and tactics at the Infantry school at Fort Benning, Georgia, and then as Chief of the Petroleum Production Section, Planning Division, Army-Navy Petroleum Board under the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

After the war he returned to his chosen profession and has built one of the most impressive records ever achieved in petroleum exploration. He has either discovered or been geologically responsible for new production in more than fifty oil and gas fields from Louisiana to Alaska. He is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the Michel T. Halbouty Energy Co. As Chairman of President Reagan's Energy Policy Advisory Task Force during the 1980 presidential campaign and later as Leader of the Transition Team on Energy, he gave much of his time and expertise to ensure the economic and energy stability of the United States. This service was the culmination of many years of speaking out on energy issues. The impressive thing about his record is how many times he has been right.

Mike Halbouty is unique in having been awarded the highest honors of both the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers (AIME). The awards he has earned include the Sidney Powers Memorial Medal, the Human Needs Award and Honorary Membership from AAPG, the Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal, the DeGolyer Distinguished Service Medal and Honorary Membership from AIME. He has also received the Hoover Medal of the American Association of Engineering Societies, the Distinguished Texas Scientist of the Year for 1983 from the Texas Academy of Sciences, and many other honors. He has served as President of the AAPG and in numerous capacities for it as well as Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors for AIME. He has been a Distinguished Lecturer for The American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the Society of Petroleum Engineers. In 1982 SPE named him its first Distinguished Lecturer Emeritus. In 1979, he was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Mike Halbouty's scientific contributions are impressive. He has authored more than 250 scientific articles on geology and petroleum engineering and is the author of several books including the classic Salt Domes Gulf Region, United States and Mexico.

One of the concepts which he strongly advocates and supports is the use of remote sensing from spacecraft to aid worldwide petroleum and mineral exploration. In 1976 he was one of the founding Directors and was instrumental in the organization of The Geosat Committee, Inc., an industry group which collaborates with NASA to promote the use of Landsat data, and served as its first Chairman. In 1977 NASA recognized his contributions to remote sensing by awarding him one of its highest honors, the William T. Pecora Award. He has offered his time and expertise to the federal government on many occasions, the latest being Chairman of a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration committee on the commercialization of land satellites for the Department of Commerce.

He is a strong supporter of geophysics and the SEG, organizing joint geological-geophysical conferences and was one of the first geoscientists to emphasize a multi-disciplinary approach to exploration. Mike has contribu