Michel T. Halbouty
- Beaumont, TX, USA
- Death date
- Associated organizations
- Michel T. Halbouty Energy
- Fields of study
- AAPG Sidney Powers Medal, Legendary Geoscientist designation by the American Geological Institute, Distinguished Scientist of the Year by the Texas Academy of Sciences
Born on June 21, 1909 in Beaumont, Texas, to Lebanese parents who had immigrated to the United States in the last decade of the nineteenth century, Michel T. Halbouty was a legendary geologist and petroleum engineer who was credited with discovering 50 oil and gas fields during his long and distinguished career.
He was active in SPE, AIME, and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) throughout his long and distinguished career, and he was recognized as one of the world's foremost geologists and petroleum engineers and an expert on exploration and production. The legendary wildcatter--he struck oil 6 weeks out of graduate school and was the first independent to explore in Alaska--received SPE's Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal and the DeGolyer Distinguished Service Medal, and he was an SPE Distinguished Member. He was among the first of SPE's Distinguished Lecturers. He died in 2004 at the age of 95.
As a boy, Halbouty carried ice water to roughnecks working the famous Spindletop oil field in Beaumont, Texas. He became a vocal proponent of US domestic oil and gas producers and, later, an energy adviser to US President Ronald Reagan. He wrote 370 articles and four books, including Petrographic and Physical Characteristics of Sands from Seven Gulf Coast Producing Horizons (1937), Spindletop (1952), Salt Domes, Gulf Region, United States and Mexico (1969), Ahead of His Time; Michel T. Halbouty Speaks to the People (ed. by James A. Clark) (1971), and The Last Boom (with James A. Clark) (1972). In one of his last published articles, a guest editorial in the June, 2001 Journal of Petroleum Technology, he wrote of the oilman's need for dedication and persistence, qualities that marked his career throughout. Chairman and CEO of his own company, Michel T. Halbouty Energy, he received numerous other honors and awards in his career, including the AAPG Sidney Powers Medal, Legendary Geoscientist designation by the American Geological Institute, Distinguished Scientist of the Year by the Texas Academy of Sciences, election to the US National Academy of Engineering, and election to the Texas Science Hall of Fame. He also served as president of AAPG.