Chairman, Petroleum Group
Kitty Hall is a geologist who has spent her career in oil exploration. As founding Chief Executive she built two different businesses to provide specialist technology and services to oil companies. She is now Vice Chairman of the Petroleum Group (part of the Geological Society) and serves on the boards of oil company Det Norske Oljeselskap and seismic company Seabird Exploration plc.
It was working for a survey company in a gap year before university that took her into the world of exploration geophysics; this included both fieldwork in northern Nigeria and becoming part of the very first effort to use computers in the processing of field data. She then got a BSc in Geology from Leeds University, and went back into survey work, and at the age of 29 started a geophysical processing business with two partners. Nine years after her BSc she gained an MSc in Stratigraphy from Birkbeck College (University of London) through evening class study.
The first business was built to be a leading company in its field and was later sold successfully. The second business was founded in 2004 to build the world’s first superconducting gravity gradiometer and to fly airborne surveys all over the world, making an exceptionally high resolution measurement of the Earth’s gravity field to assist oil companies in finding prospects to drill. The engineering, marketing and financing of this endeavour provided a series of fantastic challenges, especially when the financial crisis occurred in 2008.
Kitty has a lifelong enthusiasm for the commercialisation of new technology and for exploration across the world. Her career as an entrepreneur has allowed her to achieve both business success and to raise two daughters. She is also a trustee for several educational charities.