Retired petroleum geologist
He grew up in France with an inclination to go into agriculture, but that was not possible following the German occupation during the Second World War, when he found himself having to do forced labour at a Volkswagen factory. He was able to resume his studies at the end of the war and found a place at the Geological Institute in Nancy, later taking a job as with an oil company in Algeria. In 1956, he returned to Nancy to write a PhD thesis on Algerian geology, which led to his being put in charge of the evaluation of the Sahara, where major fields had been found. In 1958, he returned to Paris to work for Elf (now TOTAL), where he began to develop an understanding of the dynamic evolution of source, reservoir, seal and trap over geological time. This work led to the concept of the Petroleum System. He retained his academic links and inclinations, giving lectures and presentation, as well as playing an important role in the geological establishment.
I have tried to adopt a naturalist’s approachto problems, realising that the solution often turns out to be more complex than one can imagine.