Mohamad Azhar


Mohamad Azhar is a Reservoir Engineer at Schlumberger Australia. Holding a Masters in Petroleum Engineering from the Australian School of Petroleum, he started his oil-industry career in 2010 in Malaysia.  Mohamad has past experiences working offshore and onshore in the field, and is currently consulting and assisting clients on reservoir modeling and simulation.  He holds a provisional patent and is active in reservoir engineering training delivery.

Alan Bischof

University of Canterbury

Alan studied geology in southern Brazil and graduated with a specialized degree in Petroleum Geology in 2004. For the following five years he was employed by Petrobras, working as a Marine Geologist offshore Brazil. In 2007 and 2008 he completed 2 post-graduate courses in sequence stratigraphy, sedimentology and basin analysis. Since 2010 he has been living in New Zealand and has worked with alluvial gold and petroleum exploration. Recently he has joined University of Canterbury in a post-graduation programme studying the impact of volcanism on sedimentary basins and petroleum systems. His main background includes sequence stratigraphy, seismic interpretation, paleoenvironmental reconstitution and characterization of volcanic systems.


Petter Bjørgen


Petter Bjørgen has worked for nearly 20 years in Statoil’s global exploration unit, including several international assignments in Africa, Asia and the United States. His key competence is frontier exploration, with experience from a wide range of geographical areas and geological settings. Currently he is the technical lead for Statoil’s New Zealand licenses, based in Oslo, Norway.


Dr Kyle Bland

GNS Science

Dr Kyle Bland is a petroleum geologist at GNS Science, where he has worked for the past 10 years.  He leads the New Zealand Government-funded “Atlas of Petroleum Prospectivity” programme and “Frontiers Task Force” research project, both of which are working to de-risk the petroleum systems elements in New Zealand’s frontier basins.  A graduate of the University of Waikato, he has a background in sedimentology, sequence stratigraphy, paleontology, and geological mapping.  Kyle regularly leads and participates in outreach and community engagement activities that target a wide sector of the general public — particularly school children and their teachers, and iwi — and is recognised as a communicator of science.

Sally Braidwood

Australian Reputation Centre | Ipsos

Sally Braidwood is the Director of the Global Reputation Centre, Ipsos ANZ.  Ipsos conducts strategic research to understand issues, advance reputations, determine opinion shifts, enhance communications and evaluate policy.  Sally has worked extensively in the resources sector and partnered with some of the largest players to manage reputations.  Her experience includes stakeholder consultation with government, traditional owners, the private sector, communities, opinion leaders, influencers and the public.  Sally holds a Bachelor of Laws, a Master of Business Research and a Graduate Diploma in Arts Management. She belongs to the Australian Market and Social Research Society.

Iwan Bridge

Shell Todd Oil Services

Iwan Bridge is the Operations Manager and Deputy General Manager at Shell Todd Oil Services Ltd (STOS) and responsible for the operation of the Maui, Pohokura and Kapuni gas/condensate fields.  He has spent 20 years with STOS and Shell companies in New Zealand and Europe, primarily in Engineering and Operations Management roles. Iwan holds science and engineering degrees from UMIST, UK and a MBA from Massey University.


Dr Simon Childerhouse

Blue Planet Marine

Dr Simon Childerhouse has worked as a marine biologist specialising in marine mammals for more than 20 years in Australia, Antarctica, New Zealand, USA, Canada and the South Pacific. His work has included pure and applied marine research, leading and managing large scale international research projects, and delivering applied and practical solutions to challenging marine conservation and resource-utilisation issues. Simon has published research, lectured and taught at various Universities, representated both Australian and New Zealand Governments at international meetings, and developed national and international policies and strategic documents.  Simon is presently employed as a Senior Research Scientist at Blue Planet Marine, an environmental consultancy company based in Nelson. He has previously worked for the Australian Antarctic Division and at the Department of Conservation including roles such as Leader of the New Zealand delegation to the International Whaling Commission for 8 years, and three years as Chair of the Southern Ocean Whales sub-committee of the International Whaling Commission. Simon has more than 40 research papers and three book chapters published in scientific literature, and more than 90 unpublished research reports.


Simon Coubrough

Environmental Protection Authority

Simon has a marine science background and has applied this in regulatory roles within fisheries, shipping and the oil and gas industry. As a Senior Compliance Advisor and warranted enforcement officer within the EPA’s EEZ Compliance team, his role includes monitoring offshore facilities operating in the waters of New Zealand’s EEZ. He has extensive knowledge of environmental legislation and discharge management practices applicable to the oil and gas industry.

Adrian Cowan

Detechtion Technologies

Adrian Cowan is an engineer and Operations Manager for Detechtion Technologies in Australia. Responsible for driving economic return to producers of natural gas through his experience and knowledge of compression, Adrian holds relationships and customer service in high regards alongside technical accuracy.

Adrian began his oil and gas engineering career with a fast rising junior producer, Berkana Energy Corp. Splitting his time between the Calgary head office and Rimbey field office, Adrian was responsible for the daily operation of a selection of producing assets over a twelve-month period that saw Berkana double its daily production.

A move to Detechtion Technologies, specialists in compressor optimization, in 2008, allowed Adrian to feed his passion for high-powered machines garnered from racing go-karts through adolescence. Responsible for managing a client portfolio with compressors fleets from 1 to 350, Adrian excelled in his role and moved to Brisbane, Australia in 2010 to open the Australian office for Detechtion Technologies as Operations Manager.

Adrian is a certified instructor of Detechtion’s Reciprocating and Rotary Compressor courses. In his spare time, Adrian enjoys indulging in his triathlon pursuits and spending time with his young family.

David Darby


David leads the Commercial Analysis and Investment team at NZ P&M. His team promotes New Zealand’s petroleum and mineral sectors to potential investors around the globe. They work closely with colleagues in MBIE and other agencies on strategies to attract growth capital to the New Zealand resource sector. David has over 20 years’ experience in the upstream oil and gas sector. He has BSc and PhD degrees from Glasgow University. Prior to joining NZP&M in October 2015, David was with Maersk Oil in the UK, and has previously held roles with GNS Science, Ikon, and BG Group.


Lachlan Dreher


Lachlan Dreher is a chemical engineer with over 22 years’ experience in process safety and risk management. Lachlan founded R4Risk in 2008 and since then, he and his team have completed projects for over 100 clients, spanning hazardous industry sectors within the oil & gas, petrochemical, chemical, manufacturing, power generation and transportation industries. Lachlan’s previous employment, coupled with his work at R4Risk has enabled him to gain extensive experience in the application of risk techniques for industrial facilities. Lachlan has worked closely with clients in preparing their safety cases, conducting incident investigations and land-use planning studies. He has also assisted clients with more technical studies such as QRAs, HAZOPs and Fire Safety Studies. In addition, Lachlan has used the same fundamental risk approaches to assist clients in managing non-process issues as well, such as transportation and operational risk exposures.


Paul Feltoe

Safety Solutions Ltd

Paul Feltoe is Managing Director of Safety Solutions Ltd which is a specialist process safety consulting and training organisation based in New Zealand. He is a Chemical Engineer with professional status in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.  Paul has over 23 years of global experience in the Oil & Gas, Refining Petrochemical, Dairy and Mineral Processing Industries. Paul is an experienced facilitator and trainer and has worked with many of New Zealand’s large industries to improve their process safety performance. He is a fellow of ICHEME, member of IPENZ, and a professional process safety engineer.


Colin Finnegan


Colin Finnegan is a co-founder of Petrofac Well Engineering and has over 25 years experience in well engineering activities. Colin is a member of Petrofac’s senior leadership team in Asia Pacific and is responsible for business strategy and management for Petrofac Well Engineering in the region. Colin holds a holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Honours) degree from the University of Ulster in Ireland. Prior to Petrofac, Colin held positions with Shell, Enterprise Oil and BP Exploration. Colin is a chartered professional engineer, a fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, member of the Institute of Directors and a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Dr Kimberley Goetz

National Institute Of Water And Atmospheric Research (NIWA)

Dr Kim Goetz is a spatial ecologist specialising in modelling the movement and habitat of marine megafauna as well as undertaking research into their behaviour and ecology. She has worked on beluga and bowhead whales in the Arctic, as well as Weddell seals and emperor penguins in the Ross Sea. She undertook her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California in Santa Cruz. Since joining NIWA in late in 2014, Kim, with NIWA and industry funding, has established an array of Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) devices in the Cook Strait region to document baseline ocean ambient noise, as well as spatial and temporal distributions, habitat use, calling behaviour, and migration paths of marine mammal species based on acoustic detection of their vocalisations. Kim has also received funding from the Ministry of Primary Industry (MPI) to model the habitat distributions of all the common species of whales and dolphins in New Zealand’s EEZ, using sighting records from a variety of sources.


Samuel Hercus

OMV New Zealand Ltd

Samuel Hercus is a reservoir Engineer with eight years of experience, primarily working on offshore NZ assets.  Samuel has a background in R&D in uncertainty analysis, a Honours BE from the University of Canterbury and a MSc from Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Arts et Metiers, Paris, France.


Dr Christopher Hollis

GNS Science

Chris Hollis is a principal scientist at GNS Science. Over the past 25 years has has forged a career in paleontology and paleoenvironmental research, with a primary focus on the greenhouse climate of the early Paleogene. He has had a foot in both camps, having applied this research to better understand the conditions that led to to the formation of marine source rocks as well as to improve projections for the long-term impacts of global warming. Having been both Paleontology Department head and leader of GNS’s core programme, Global Change through Time, Chris is now increasingly focused on science communication and engaging with communities on Earth science topics of relevance to them, from petroleum exploration to geohazards to climate change.


Brent Hulbert


Brent has been a tax advisor with PwC for seventeen years. Prior to joining PwC, Brent worked in industry for six years where he had tax responsibilities for a large corporation in the oil and gas sector. Brent has a wide variety of NZ and internationally owned clients and has a deep knowledge of the oil and gas sector through his extensive involvement with exploration and production companies and oilfield services companies. Brent represents PwC internationally at a number of its global and regional oil and gas forums and is the NZ tax partner liaison with PwC Perth.

Maxim Kabanov

Baker Hughes

Dr Maxim Kabanov started working in the petroluem industry as an offshore drilling fluids engineer based in Aberdeen. Following several years working in the North Sea and globally, Maxim moved through a variety of technical and sales roles within Baker Hughes Drilling and Completion Fluids. He worked out of Adelaide, SA, in 2015 and was closely involved in the operations pertaining to this paper. Maxim is currently based in Kuala Lumpur as the Asia Pacific Sales Manager for Baker Hughes Drilling and Completion Fluids.

Dr Peter Kamp

University Of Waikato

Peter is Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Waikato (Hamilton, New Zealand) and leader of the Sedimentary and Petroleum Geology Research Group (www.georesearchnz.com). He has been an academic teacher and researcher for nearly 40 years. He has interests and expertise in Basin Analysis (stratigraphy, structure, sequence stratigraphy, paleogeography), tectonics, and low temperature thermochronology/geochronology.  Peter has applied these methods extensively in New Zealand and in parts of Antarctica, Japan, Indonesia, China, and the western USA.


Dr Richard Kellett

GNS Science

Richard is a senior geoscientist in the Marine Department at GNS Science. He has 30 years experience in exploration geophysics having worked in New Zealand, Australia, North America, Africa and Europe. He has been actively involved in the petroleum industry as a geoscientist and as an exploration manager. He currently works on research projects in tectonics and basin evolution including unconventional resources such as gas hydrates.


Dr Karsten Kroeger

GNS Science

Karsten Kroeger is a senior geoscientist and basin modeller with GNS Science since 2008. He has gained experience in basin modelling as a postdoctoral fellow at GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences. His research interests include various aspects of petroleum systems, the thermal evolution of the lithosphere, natural gas in the subsurface and linkages to gas hydrate formation.  He holds a diploma in geology from the Technical University in Karlsruhe and a Ph.D. from the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz on Tertiary climate, paleoecology, and carbonate sedimentology.


Dr Alison Lane

ERM New Zealand Limited

Dr Alison Lane is a Technical Director at ERM New Zealand.  An environmental scientist with a PhD in marine hydrocarbon ecotoxicology, Alison has worked for 16 years on marine and coastal environmental assessments and management projects.  Alison worked on the 2015 Maui marine consenting project and has supported many offshore oil and gas consenting and permitting, oil spill response planning and environmental management projects in New Zealand and throughout Asia Pacific and the Antarctic.


Nicola Legge


Nicola Legge is the Research Director, and Head of Public Affairs for Ipsos NZ.  Nicola’s work includes gaining insights to drive behaviour change as well as reputational insights to build trust.  She understands that reputation has both present and future value, and is an advocate for leveraging reputational value by aligning internal and external actions.  Nicola has NZ experience among public and influencer stakeholders in both the public and private sectors.  She holds a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Management Studies.  Nicola is a board member of the Research Association of NZ.


Brigid McArthur

Greenwood Roche

Brigid McArthur is a senior corporate and commercial lawyer with particular expertise in oil and gas, the wider energy sector and large industrial concerns in New Zealand.  After many years as a partner in one of New Zealand’s leading firms, Brigid joined specialist projects law firm Greenwood Roche, where she continues to practise within a broader team specialising in real estate, construction, resource management, finance and tax.


Fred McLay

Taranaki Regional Council

With over 30 years of experience in regional government, the environmental regulation of major industries, and working with the community, Fred currently holds the position of Director of Resource Management, Taranaki Regional Council. In this role, Fred holds the responsibility for the management of the Council’s resource management planning, consenting (and monitoring), and enforcement functions under the Resource Management Act. Prior to this, he held senior resource management positions at the Council and its predecessors, apart from a two year period as Head External Affairs at Shell Todd Oil Services Ltd. Fred is currently involved in providing advice and assistance to central government on environmental regulation, particularly of the oil and gas sector.

Tom Milton



Dr Daniel Mohnhoff

GNS Science

Daniel is a petroleum geochemist at GNS Science, working in the MBIE funded Petroleum Source Rocks & Fluids research programme. His area of interest is the organic geochemical and petrographical analysis and characterisation of various source rocks in New Zealand as well as oil-source rock correlations utilising a multitude of geochemical parameters. Prior to joining GNS Science in 2016, Daniel graduated from RWTH Aachen University, Germany, with a PhD in 2015. During his PhD, Daniel’s industry funded research focused on petroleum geochemistry, organic petrography, petrophysics and 3D numerical basin modelling with emphasise on gas shale formations in Germany and Western Europe.


Steve Morice

Shell Todd Oil Services

Steve Morice holds a PhD in Geophysics from Cambridge University, and is Lead Geophysicist for Shell Todd Oil Services and Shell’s global focal-point for well-to-seismic interpretation. With over 20 years of experience in the international oil and gas industry, including 11 in New Zealand, Steve has contributed to the fields of surface- and borehole-seismic survey design, seismic acquisition R&D and operations management, seismic processing/imaging techniques, and geophysical interpretation – with particular emphasis on the integration of surface- and borehole data for field development and production optimization. Steve is an author and co-author of numerous technical publications, holds two patents, and is currently serving as a Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Distinguished Lecturer for 2016–2017.


Ralf Oppermann

Opptimal Resource Solutions Pty Ltd

Ralf Oppermann is an independent, award-winning Geoscience Consultant with 26 years of broad international experience in the Oil and Gas industry. During his career he has worked as Seismic Interpreter, Geologist and Technical Advisor for various Shell Operating Companies in the Netherlands, U.K., Germany, Malaysia and New Zealand, as well as working with Chevron in Australia. In 2008, Ralf founded OPPtimal Resource Solutions Pty Ltd as a technology service company, to provide new and leading-edge technology services to companies active in Oil & Gas, Coal Seam Gas, Mining, Geothermal, Groundwater, CO2 Sequestration and Underground Storage. He has worked or is currently working on compartmentalised, fractured, tight, basement, gas shale, coal seam gas, coal mining, ore mining, geothermal and geosequestration assets, in North America, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and Australasia. Through his company, Ralf has set up numerous technical collaborations with other specialised Service companies as well as Research Centres at Universities. Ralf holds an MSc in Geology/Palaeontology and BSc in Business & Economics from the University of Goettingen in Germany. He is a member of AAPG, EAGE, FESAus, PESA, PESGB and SPE. Ralf can be contacted at Ralf.Oppermann@OPPtimal.com

Katie Pettengell

OMV New Zealand Ltd

Katherine Pettengell (Katie) has been a reservoir engineer for OMV New Zealand Ltd. since 2008 and has been involved in providing technical support for the company’s operated and non-operated fields in offshore Taranaki. Prior to joining OMV, she was with Schlumberger Well Services for 6 years, holding technical and management positions from the cementing division in the Western US, UK North Sea, and Angola. Katie received a BSE in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University and recently completed a MEng in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University.


David Reed

Lloyds Register

David has over 35 years of global experience in well operations, project management and field development. Based in KL working for the Lloyds Register. Experience in well design and construction, and field management for both E&P Operator’s and Drilling Contractor’s. Has worked with companies to develop organisational capacities and specific management systems, which underpin the management of risk (HSE, commercial and corporate). A member of the Oil & Gas UK industry trade body) Oil Spill Prevention & Response Group, which was set up post Mocondo. This group advised the UK government on the Mocondo disaster and the UK preparedness. Advisor to major upstream organisations on risk identification and management associated with the lifecycle of their asset base.


Dr Dominic Strogen

GNS Science

Dr Dominic Strogen is sedimentologist in the petroleum geoscience department at GNS Science working primarily within the petroleum basin research programme, focusing on seismic interpretation, basin analysis, paleogeography, reservoir sedimentology and petrography throughout New Zealand’s sedimentary basins. Prior to joining GNS in 2008, Dominic led petroleum industry funded research at CASP (Cambridge, UK) into the basin evolution of the East Greenland-Mid Norway region, as well as being involved in field-based research efforts in Libya, Arctic Canada and Iran. Dominic has research interests in clastic sedimentology, basin evolution and diagenesis.

Roland Swift

Shell New Zealand

Roland has been working as a geophysicist on exploration and development projects for Shell New Zealand and Shell Todd Oil Services in New Plymouth for over 10 years. A significant part of that time has been spent looking at exploration opportunities around the STOS operated Maui Field.

Roland started his career exploring for minerals, geothermal energy and potable ground water. Before moving to New Zealand he worked for 11 years for BG Group in the UK and internationally in a variety of roles in research, exploration and development.

Roland holds a degree in Geophysical Sciences from the University of Southampton and a PhD in electromagnetic geophysics from the University of Leicester.


Richard Sykes

GNS Science

Richard Sykes is a Principal Scientist and petroleum geochemist at GNS Science in Lower Hutt where he leads research and undertakes commercial consultancy work on petroleum source rocks and fluids. He is the Programme Leader of the MBIE-funded research programme on petroleum source rocks, fluids, and plumbing systems in New Zealand basins. He is also an adjunct lecturer on petroleum source rocks and fluids at Victoria University of Wellington.


Maria Townsend

Shell Todd Oil Services

Maria has a BEng (Hons) in Industrial Geology from Camborne School of Mines in the UK. After graduating she became a Drilling Engineer for Global Santa Fe. Time spent drilling infill wells and completing workovers from platforms sparked her interest in production and she returned to university to complete an MSc in Petroleum Engineering from Heriot-Watt in Edinburgh. She worked for Enterprise Oil in the UK until the company’s takeover in 2002 and then transferred to Shell. During her 15 years working for Shell, she has worked on assets in the UK, Malaysia, Philippines and New Zealand and has held many different roles. She has been a Production Technologist on several fields and was the WRFM Lead for Sarawak in Malaysia. During her 8 years in New Zealand, she has been the Production Technologist for Maui and worked as part of the Maui Late Life Team commencing well abandonment planning work and completing the Licence Renewal application for the asset. She is currently the Development Lead for Pohokura.

Victoria Todd

Ocean Sciene Consulting

Ian Twomey

Hale & Twomey

Chris Uruski


Chris Uruski has worked for OMV since 2012, before that he spent 25 years at GNS where he explored many of New Zealand’s sedimentary basins.

Dr Simon Ward

New Zealand Energy Corp

Dr Simon Ward is Geoscience & Compliance Manager for New Zealand Energy Corp.  He has nearly 20 years’ experience as a petroleum geologist in the Taranaki region, working on major exploration and development projects including Tui, Pohokura, Kupe and Ahuroa.  Prior to joining NZEC in 2011, he worked for IRBA Geosciences in Wellington as a consulting geologist for 14 years, working on a wide range of natural hazard, geotechnical and energy resource projects. Simon holds PhD and BSc (Honours) degrees in Geology from Canterbury University, New Zealand.

Ashley Watling


Ashley Watling is a Canadian working for Schlumberger, based in Queensland Australia. She started as a Well Services Field engineer in 2010, specializing in hydraulic fracturing operations. Field operations allowed for experience in a variety of fluid systems, geological formations, and various fracturing execution methods. She helped to bring CoilFRAC into Australia and has been involved in every treatment completed with the spread to date. This has enabled experience in both Coiled Tubing and Wireline operations working under the geomarket technical domain champion and operations manager. Ashley is primarily involved in job design, preparation and review for all fracturing operations in Australia and New Zealand. Due to under pressurized formations in Queensland, Australia, Ashley has been part of the team developing a degradable fluid loss control solution for rig based workover operations.


Josh Whitcombe

Westside Corporation

Josh has worked in both the upstream and downstream oil and gas industry for over 15 years, starting his career by completing a PhD at a Brisbane oil refinery. He then moved into offshore Drilling and Completions, working for Shell UK in the North Sea. Returning to Brisbane over 10 years ago as a Senior Drilling Engineer, Josh has held various Field Development and Senior Management roles with both small and large sized companies. Since joining WestSide in early 2015, Josh has been involved with the Operations at the Meridian Gas field and more recently managing the transition of the RKM assets from Origin to WestSide. Josh is a Chartered Chemical Engineer and a Registered Professional Engineer in Queensland.



Alexander Wunderlich

OMV New Zealand Ltd

Alexander Wunderlich is an Exploration Geologist within the Taranaki Basin Team for OMV New Zealand. Alex holds a MSc in Geology from the TU Bergakademie Freiberg in Germany and spent three semesters as a researcher at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, USA. He has worked in New Zealand since February 2015, having previously worked for OMV in Madagascar as an Exploration Geologist for the companies operated and non-operated interests in the Morondava Basin. Prior to joining OMV Alex has worked in technical exploration positions for operating companies in Norway and Germany, focusing on the North Sea, Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea.