Energy Expert Economides Dies at 64

Energy Expert Economides Dies at 64

Michael Economides, University of Houston (UH) professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the Cullen College of Engineering, passed away from a heart attack over the weekend while flying from Madrid to Chile. He was 64. He is survived by his wife, Christine, and sons John and Alexander.

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Economides was widely respected as an energy expert, particularly in petroleum engineering and energy geopolitics. He was the recipient of numerous awards, including the 1997 Production Engineering Award from the Society of Petroleum Engineers. He received his Ph.D. in Petroleum Engineering from Stanford University in 1984, according to his UH biography.

“He is a globally recognized expert in hydraulic fracturing, in production techniques, generally,” said Tom Holley, director of the petroleum engineering program at UH, in a press release. “Very outspoken, but well-reasoned.”

Research areas of Economides included complex well architecture in petroleum production, reservoir stimulation theory and offshore technology development in deep waters. He also developed tools to measure the near-well state of stress in elastic and plastic rocks.

“He got into the whole space of horizontal drilling,” said Ramanan Krishnamoorti, chief energy officer at UH. “How do you effectively stimulate horizontal drilling? He was a strong proponent of hydraulic fracturing. He put a lot of science behind it. He would go into the field, and things would start to happen.”

Economides was well thought of by his students, Krishnamoorti said. 

“He made you think. His emotions were on his sleeve. His students absolutely loved him.”

Economides, who wrote or co-authored at least 15 books and many journal papers and journal publications, co-authored “The Color of Oil: The History, the Money and the Politics of the World’s Biggest Business” with Ronald Oligney and Armando Izquierdo.


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Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone. All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.
Calvin Holt | Dec. 6, 2013
Like many others, I enjoyed his lectures and would make a point to seek them out. My first encounter was in Indonesia in the late 90s where he made a very bold prediction on the price of oil. The audience was incredolous at first, but his conviction, eloquence and Greek charm made many believers that day, me included. A year later he was proven right and I followed him ever since. My condolences to the family and may he rest in peace.

David Norman | Dec. 3, 2013
"The wise Professor" Economides (or Michael to those who knew him) was and will remain a driving influence in the engineering and science of the oil industry. He knew how to drive a point home with wit & candor that the scientific, engineering, economics communities will miss. Everyone wanted to be present when he spoke, especially me, whether it was a technical issue or global political comments. I enjoyed the humor he applied and listening to his perspective on issues that you wouldn’t necessarily get from reading his work. When a paper presentation had his name on it, the session was packed. Several of us also enjoyed sparing with him. During Q&A at technical meetings everyone was anxious when he rose to the microphone, but you really felt special if he complimented you on your technical work.... which he did so eloquently even if he didn’t know you personally. He respected technical correctness and enjoyed carrying the scenario of consequences to their different conclusions. He was compartmentalized which enabled his ability to juggle many different complex things. He often manipulated multiple threads of logic into fabrics of his world view. He loved telling jokes (especially politically incorrect ones) after all it was all GREEK to him! He thoroughly enjoyed engineering and the economics that precipitated from applying science. I will miss him......

Joshua Evans | Dec. 3, 2013
I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Economides early in my career as I was entering the O&G industry. His passion and enthusiasm was an inspiration to me as a young professional. His thoughtful insight will truly be missed.

API- Houston Chapter | Dec. 3, 2013
Condolences to Dr. Economides family and friends. The API -Houston Chapter enjoyed a wonderful relationship with him for many years. A great loss to our industry locally and globally.

Juan Quispe | Dec. 3, 2013
RIP Michael Economides.

Ken Kemp | Dec. 2, 2013
I really enjoyed "The Color of Oil" and hearing Dr. Economides speak.

Paul Caplan | Dec. 2, 2013
Dr. Economides was one of the true thought leaders in our industry. He will be missed. All of us at Rigzone would like to extend our sincere condolences to his family.


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