Retired petroleum geophysicist and executive
He was born to a military family in France just after the Second World War, and after a time in Jesuit schools went on to study mathematics and physics at university, although reading poetry also held a particular fascination. After a brief spell in compulsory military service, he joined TOTAL as a geophysicist. An initial assignment of testing various new techniques in the Mediterranean was followed by a transfer to Indonesia to run seismic surveys, which led to many colourful experiences. He then moved back to Paris to work in operational research, investigating the nature of decision-taking in a more economic domain. After facing various corporate difficulties, he moved to the International Energy Agency as director of long-term evaluations. In 1997, he was responsible for a team that produced an issue of the World Energy Outlook that included a table showing that oil demand would outpace supply by 2010, save for the entry of unidentified unconventional, a coded euphemism for shortage. In response to internal conflicts, he moved to work for the World Energy Council, also becoming chairman of a small energy company before retiring in 2008.
To make a long story short about my views on policy matters in the energy world, suffice to say that I was struck by the lack of realism and common sense.