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Graduate of NMSU geology program honored

Michael L. Johnson, who earned his bachelor's degree at New Mexico State University in 1972, was inducted into the Geological Sciences Department's Alumni Hall of Fame April 5.

Michael L. Johnson, NMSU Department of Geological Sciences Alumni Hall of Fame inductee. (Photo by David Pierre)

Johnson was chosen Distinguished Alumnus of the NMSU College of Arts and Sciences in 1997.

A native of Roswell, he also earned master's degrees in geology from Rice University and in finance from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

After graduate school, Johnson worked for Conoco Inc. as exploration manager for the Rocky Mountain Division and for the West Coast and Alaska. In 1986, he became general manager of administration, planning and finance for the North American exploration and production group. Two years later, he was named general manager of exploration for operations in the Middle East, the Far East, Africa and Latin America.

In 1990, he was named vice president and general manager of exploration and production in Europe and Africa. He moved to Stavanger, Norway, in 1993 as president and managing director of Norske Conoco A/S. Johnson held the position of chairman and chief executive officer of Conoco Gas and Power and was a Conoco Inc. vice president from 1997 until his retirement in 2002.

With extensive experience in the economics of natural gas, Johnson has served on the boards of Phoenix Park Gas Processors in Trinidad and Tobago, the Natural Gas Supply Association, the Texas Intrastate Pipeline Association and the Gas Technology Institute. He frequently has testified in Congress on matters regarding gas supply and gas economics and he lectures to outside groups on the U.S. gas business, science and free enterprise.

Johnson serves on Copano Energy LLC's board of directors, on the audit and conflicts committees and Rice University's Owl Club, and is an adviser to Stavanger for technology and cooperative ventures.

Johnson lives in Houston with his wife Judy, the director of finance and administration for the city. They have two children and spend their free time on their ranch in Nambe, N.M.