Meet Eric Michael: APT’s new chief geochemical advisor

APT’s new chief geochemical advisor is a big Star Trek fan and always knew he wanted to work outside a traditional office environment. He was attracted to APT because of the company’s openness to new ideas and inputs – and because of its talented employees.

Chief geochemical advisor Eric Michael only recently joined APT but has known the company for a long time. Always impressed by the company’s data quality and the agreeable cooperation with its employees.

“I decided late last year to join APT. The company seemed open to listening to new ideas on service and potential for technology development and they have employed some fantastic geochemistry talent for many years which speaks to data quality and ability to work with the lab,” he says.

The 58-year-old is originally from Indiana but grew up in both St. Louis and the four corners area of New Mexico. He studied geology and chemistry at Indiana and Oklahoma university.

“Prior to joining APT I spent most of my time working for an operator (ConocoPhillips, Mobil and Sohio) or research & resource assessment (USGS). Most recently I was involved in development of resource evaluation and risking workflows and tools for unconventional and conventional plays using geochemistry and basin modeling. I’ve also been teaching and mentoring young professionals,” he tells.

Out and about

Eric is married to his best friend and partner for 33 years, and together they have three children. When not working, he loves being outside.

“Especially hiking, fishing, kayaking and the shooting sports. One of the most exhausting, but fun, things I ever did was a cross country ski trip weekend in Norway. I think I will stick to downhill skiing and let gravity do the work.”

Eric Michael knew from a very young age that he didn’t want to spend his working years inside a traditional office. Early on, he was attracted to the thought of a field or operations geology career or working in a lab. He determined his choice of career path after a couple of landmark meetings during his education.

“I was always very interested in geology and chemistry and started working with a high temperature geochemist as an undergraduate in school looking at igneous rock formation. Eventually I encountered low temperature geochemists in economic geology, but finally met organic geochemists – John Hayes in stable isotopes and Warren Meinschein in biomarkers at IU – as an undergraduate which influenced me on career. Being a Star Trek fan, I found it really cool that the early organic geochemists in the 1960’s worked for the government/NASA to determine if life forms could evolve and exist based on something other than carbon before we ever set foot on the moon.”

Finding new ways

Still early days in his APT career, Eric spends a typical day creating information materials to client operators on what geochemistry can do to help in exploration or reservoir exploitation. He is very much looking forward to finding new ways to bring awareness to geochemistry application.

“I look forward to the entrepreneurial aspect of growing the business in areas perhaps underserved by geochemistry, for example well integrity monitoring and unconventional applications. There are also emerging applications using geochemistry for prediction of production metrics and flow assurance, made possible by advances in machine learning and data analytics which would be very cost effective for operators, and I think APT could be a part of that development from the service sector,” he explains.

Currently, Eric Michael is looking forward to a time when Covid isn’t as influential and limiting.

“Switching jobs in Covid-times hasn’t been too bad, since I was used to working from home with a prior employer in 2020 and 2021. The downside with Covid is trying to build collaboration and relationships in face-to-face meetings, especially with colleges in Europe that are restricted on travel,” he says.