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David Norman Clark 1950 -2010

Clark DN
David was born on 1 October 1950 at in Hampton, Surrey and obtained a BSc in Geology at Kingston Polytechnic (1972). He then went on to complete a PhD at Imperial College – Royal School of Mines on the Middle Jurassic carbonates of the Lot valley, France. He was awarded his DIC in 1976. In the same year he joined Shell International Oil Company in Rijswijk, The Hague, where he worked as a Research Geologist. In 1980 he became an operational geologist in Oman, working for Petroleum Development Oman. Between 1981 -1985 he worked for Union Texas Petroleum in London as an Exploration Geologist. From 1985 to 1986 he worked as a Divisional Manager for GB Petroleum Consultants, also in London. He worked for Core Laboratories London in the same role between 1986 and 1989. His next employment was as Geological Advisor to Sun Oil International (London), and then on posting to Jakarta, Indonesia and Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia (1990 – 1993). Between 1994 - 1997 he worked for ARCO (Texas). In 2005 he joined Gulf Keystone (London) as Vice President, New Ventures Exploration Team.

In 1995 David set an independent consultancy that was to keep him in permanent employment for the next 15 years. He was well respected by his peers for his forthright opinions and his academically sound approach. He never put his name to anything he did not agree with from a geological perspective.

He was passionate about geology all his life, and loved to share his enthusiasm with others, teaching on myriad company training courses. Every year he gave up two weeks’ annual leave to teach at St Andrew’s University, which appointed him Honorary Senior Lecturer. It was to this University that he bequeathed his specimens, books and reports. During his life time he was to publish over 50 academic papers (the last in 2009 on the Ballard Down Fault in the Dorset Purbeck sequence).

In 1974 he married Christine Payne who had been a fellow geology student at Kingston Polytechnic. They had three children, Tobias (b.1977), Emma-Louise (b.1980) and Amelia-Anne (b.1984). David was a loving father and later in 2001 he became proud grandfather of Felicity May.

David worked as a co-opted Committee member of the Society’s Petroleum Group. He enjoyed meeting other Fellows at Burlington House and attended all the Christmas dinners over a 35-year period! He was a member of the Geologists’ Association, the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain and the Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists. He was a director of Clark Research Limited.

Sadly he had contracted skin cancer during his work overseas, and despite gruelling chemotherapy, continued to work up until the end of his life. He died on the 31 July 2010.

He will always be remembered as a kind and generous man with a keen sense of humour who was always willing to share his knowledge with those who were less experienced in the petroleum industry.

Graham Evans