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Michael William (Mick) Storey, 1943 – 2002

Michael William "Mick" Storey, who died in his 60th year, was a geologist who spent his professional career within the oil industry. He obtained a degree in geology and chemistry at Nottingham University. After university, he went in 1967 to Libya as a well-site geologist for Core Laboratories. He then joined the Iraq Petroleum Company, being posted to Abu Dhabi where initially he continued well-site work in a group of young geologists of diverse backgrounds, tastes and interests, assembled by Dr H V Dunnington, the IPC Exploration Manager. Mick considered thesehis ‘formative years’ as a professional, which laid the real foundations for his industry career.

In 1976, after a period working for Cluff Oil, Mick joined Shell working subsequently in Qatar and Sarawak. In 1981, he returned to the UK for family reasons and somewhat reluctantly set up shop as an independent geologist (he disliked the term consultant) in Taunton, trading under the name of Quantock Geological Services. He was in fact the perfect consultant - knowledgeable, always honest in his opinions and completely dedicated to the task being undertaken for his client. He was also a teacher of note with a natural gift for imparting knowledge in his Production Geology courses. He presented these short courses for many companies in Australia, America, Europe, Asia and Africa – that both Shell and BP employed him regularly is a measure of his standing as a teacher.

Mick was a contributor to a number of commercial research projects on the petroleum potential of the Middle East based on the Middle East Archive at the University of Reading. These were produced by reanalysing a vast amount of basic data, particularly well-cuttings and thin sections. His main initial contribution in 1985 was fundamental to all the succeeding reports – he sat down and sorted out the stratigraphic nomenclature. In these pre- "sequence stratigraphy" days there was no common yardstick with which to tie the confusing stratigraphic schemes that each operator and country used, with the palaeontological control often poor (or controversial, or both).

He continued through all the projects to contribute to the stratigraphic and sedimentological sections. He also brought his considerable skills in production geology to the reports. He was still writing in the month before he died as the last report was completed. None of Mick’s work has ever been published but the companies that have purchased the reports know that he made an immense contribution to the understanding of the sedimentary geology, particularly the stratigraphy of Iraq and adjacent areas. His partners tried to persuade him to write a paper when he was first diagnosed with the cancer that killed him, but this was never completed.

Mick had many other interests beside geology: caving, motorcycles, travel, the history of the Middle East and adjacent areas, The Ussher Society (treasurer for 10 years), his wife Valerie and two children, Tim and Pippa. He will be missed by a wide range of people.

John Scott