Michel T. Halbouty
Halbouty was an internationally renowned earth scientist and engineer whose career and accomplishments in
the fields of geology and petroleum engineering earned him recognition as one of the world's
Born in 1909 in Beaumont, Texas, he earned his B.S. in geology, an M.S. in geology and petroleum
engineering, and his professional geological engineering degree from Texas A&M University. He also
received a Doctor of Engineering (hc) degree from Montana College of Science and Technology, as well as
a Doctor of Geoscience (hc) degree from the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences. The University of Nanjing,
People's Republic of China, presented him with an honorary professorship in geology.
Halbouty began his career as a geologist and petroleum engineer with an independent oil company, and
later as a consultant, before becoming chairman of the Michel T. Halbouty Energy Company in Houston.
Throughout his career, he engaged in the exploration for and production of oil and gas. Widely
recognized as one of the world's foremost geologists and petroleum engineers, he was acclaimed for his
Halbouty authored more than 300 articles on geology and petroleum engineering, including several
books on petroleum and contributions in encyclopedias. Many of his papers have been translated into
Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and German.
Halbouty was a member of the National Academy of Engineering as well as many worldwide professional and
technical societies, including the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, where he was a past
president; the Society of Exploration Geophysicists; Geological Society of America, where he was a
fellow; the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers (AIME); and the Society
of Petroleum Engineers of AIME, to name a few. Halbouty was also one of the founding trustees when the
GSA Foundation was established in the early 1980s. He served on GSA's Committee on Committees,
Committee on Investments, and the Centennial Development Committee, was honorary chair of the Second
Century Fund Committee, and in 1993 received GSA's Distinguished Service Award.
Halbouty was the first independent to explore and wildcat in Alaska. He discovered the West Fork Gas
Field on the Kenai Peninsula in 1959, the first discovery by an independent in Alaska.
He chaired President Reagan's Energy Policy Advisor Task Force and was later appointed leader of the
Transition Team on Energy by the president. He was appointed to many
governmental, energy-related committees and commissions, and gave much of his time and expertise to
ensure energy sufficiency for America and the world. Recognized as the perennial wildcatter, he was
exceptionally active even toward the end of his life, and, despite his age, was in the Halbouty Energy
Center office every day overseeing his wildcatting ventures.
"Michel Halbouty has had a remarkably long, effective, and illustrious career in the field of energy
resources," Foundation Trustee Gordon Eaton said. "He has always held deep concern for all of this
nation's natural resources, and it is this abiding concern for our country that led him to create this
distinguished lectureship on the subject."