I’m a huge fan of larger-than-life public figures. I love Richard Branson, and basically anyone who’s outspoken, a little crazy, but actually a genius when you get down to it.
Oil and gas has its fair share of larger-than-life figures, which makes sense given that most of them are wealthier than I could possibly imagine. One of those figures is a man named Michel T. Halbouty.
Halbouty was quite eccentric. He graduated with a double degree in Geology and Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M, and a year later he got his Master’s degree in both fields as well.
Six weeks after graduation he found his first oil well, which is pretty darn impressive. It was actually the remnant of an old well which was thought to have run dry–and Michel T. Halbouty personally showed up to the owner’s home to persuade him to keep digging. The owner was in the middle of a formal dinner party when Halbouty stormed in with dirty boots and a floppy hat.
He bet his job believing that there was more oil underground, and he ended up being right.
He went off to World War 2 a few years later, and ended up overseeing the wartime oil production when he wanted to be in the infantry.
In 1960 he predicted that there would be an energy crisis by 1975 because of America’s dependence on foreign oil. In 1973 the Arab oil embargo occurred.
He discovered more than 50 oil and gas fields, and went into bankruptcy twice during his life. However every time that happened he ended up finding more oil, and became a millionaire again.
He headed Ronald Reagan’s energy task force in his first campaign and is possibly one of the coolest men to ever live.
This, in a nutshell, is Michel T. Halbouty.