Petters obtained his MPhil and PhD at Rutgers, the State Univ. of New Jersey. He is vice-chancellor of Akwa Ibom State Univ., formerly prof. of petroleum geology Univ. of Calabar; chair of the Mineral Resources Committee, Fed. Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, Nigeria; and member of the advisory board of the Statigraphic Committee of the Niger Delta. His previous positions include Mobil prof. of petroleum geology at the Univ. of Calabar and member of the Presidential Policy Advisory Committee of Nigeria. His studies on the Central West African Cretaceous-Tertiary benthic foraminifera and stratigraphy and the regional geology of Africa are considered standard works in African geology. He was awarded the 3rd Best Paper Award (Texaco), Best Paper Award (Elf) and the Shell Prize. He is a fellow of the Nigerian Acad. of Science, the Smithsonian Inst. and the Inst. for Advanced Study in Berlin.