Willy Bruderer - CFP Geologist
Born in 1899 in Singapore, where he caught an amoebic affection that obstructed his entire career. He trained at the University of Lausanne in applied geology. In 1924 he joined the Franco-Polish Premier Oil Company, which has an office in Paris; in the field, in Galicia, he meets Henri de Cizancourt, who will become the chief geologist of the CFP (Compagnie Française des pétroles). Then he was responsible for the geology department of Colombia, a Romanian company which was later to join the Petrofina group. It goes through a small Franco-Polish company which had developed a bullet cannon to accelerate the perforation of rock in the wells! Around 1929, he left for Venezuela, in a company called NVP, and contributed to oil discoveries. Around 1932 he joined the Cherifian Oil Company and played a key role in the discovery of Jebel Tselfat (1934); he was appointed chief geologist in 1937. In 1947, Cizancourt offered to join him at the CFP. Apart from two or three expeditions to the Sahara, he is mainly responsible for monitoring the exploration programs of Iraq Petroleum, then of the Iranian Consortium.
Regarding the Sahara, his friendship with the director general of REPAL, Michel Tenaille, allows him to understand the ambitions of this company, which is not financially supported by its shareholder, the BRP (Bureau of Petroleum Research): it plays a role in Victor de Metz's decision to launch a joint venture with REPAL in the Sahara and to ask for large concessions. In 1958 he was responsible for controlling shareholdings in the exploration department of DCEP (central E&P department). In 1960 he was deputy director of exploration, still with the same function. He recounted his life and his experience in two books: Pétroles de Mésopotamie et d'Afric du Nord d'Afrique (Paris, 1976) and La Chasse aux bougies, published by Total in 1984 for its 85th anniversary. Died in 1986.