Elected in 1988
“For outstanding contributions concerning the migration, accumulation, and production of oil through the development of concepts to quantify reservoir depositional systems.”
BY LUC IKELLE
SUBMITTED BY THE NAE HOME SECRETARY
ROBERT RAYMOND BERG, professor of geology at Texas A&M University, died peacefully on June 13, 2006, at the age of 82, after a rich and harmonious life. Bob’s 42-year professional life can be divided into two parts. From 1951 to 1967, he was an exploration geologist and geophysicist for various oil and gas companies, including the Embar Oil Company, a consulting company he founded. From 1967 to 1995, he was an educator, scientist, and academic administrator at Texas A&M. For me the second part of his professional life is more fascinating, perhaps because he contributed to my own education during that time.
Bob made abundant contributions to the body of geological knowledge, especially in the area of sedimentology. His studies were focused on the origins and characterization of sandstone reservoirs, from which more than 50 percent of the world’s petroleum is produced. One of Bob’s most significant contributions was the turbidite exploration model, which proved the existence of sandstone reservoirs in basinal systems that were thought to be “sand poor.” This model was important for oil and gas exploration, especially for deepwater reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico and West Africa, two key focus areas today.