Dr Michael AlaDr Michael Ala has been closely associated with the oil industry for more than 30 years both as an exploration geologist with an independent oil company and as a consultant. He has a BSc in Oil Technology and an MSc, PhD and DIC in Petroleum Geology from Imperial College.

In 1972 he joined Seagull Exploration International and was involved in exploration studies and prospect evaluation in many parts of the world including Africa, northwest Europe, eastern Mediterranean, the Caribbean, south America and the Middle East. In 1976 he became the company’s General Manager in London, responsible for its north European and Middle Eastern operations.

Since 1981 he has been a member of the academic staff in the Earth Science Department of Imperial College, rising to the post of Director of the internationally recognized MSc Petroleum Geoscience Course in 1994. Dr Ala has published more than 50 research and review articles, covering the Middle East and West Africa, focusing on the petroleum geology and oil industry of this region and is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Petroleum Geology. He was also Editor in Chief of Seventy-Five Years of Progress in Oil Field Science and Technology, published in 1990. Since 1982 he has been organizing and presenting numerous industrial training programs in Europe, north Africa, west Africa and southeast Asia. Currently, Dr Ala is completing a textbook entitled The Acquisition and Interpretation of Modern Openhole Logs.

He is co-founder (1988) and Director of Hydrocarbons Venture Limited, a UK based organisation involved in consultancy and participation in exploration projects.


  • Petroleum Geoscience for Non-Specialists
  • Acquisition and Interpretation of Open Hole Logs