Michael Harrison was born in London, England in 1952, educated Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), and South Africa, England, Australia and then higher education in England. BSc joint honours, Geology and Botany, London 1973. I have been resident in Australia since 1980. I am divorced with two adult daughters and one adult son; and two delightful grandchildren.
Address: 27 Wrexham Street, Bicton, Western Australia, 6157
Mobile: 61+ 432 305 582
1974 – 1979. Mudlogging Geologist with Exploration Logging Inc. mainly working on Oil & Gas exploration- development wells in SE Asia, predominantly in Indonesia during an active phase of oil exploration and discovery.
!980. Wellsite Geologist (Independent), Western Australia. Woodada-1 gas discovery and other wells.
1981 – 1982. Supervising Geologist, Perth based Magnet Group of companies, with an astonishing acreage spread onshore and onshore Australia.
1983 – 1988. Senior Geologist then Chief Geologist (Non-operating Areas), Beach Petroleum NL, then located in Melbourne. Eromanga oil field discoveries Bodalla South and Kenmore a highlight.
1989 – 1993. Co-founder of Anzoil NL. The company acquired a PSC (Production Sharing Contract) over the Hanoi Basin, Northern Vietnam and various Australian interests and subsequently back-door listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in early 1993.
1994 – 1997. Co-founder of the Empire Group. Empire (Qld) Ltd holder of a number Queensland coal bed methane exploration permits were sold to multinational Conoco for a personally significant amount. Empire Myanmar held a minor interest in PSC area Block L and 100% interest in PSC area Block M, however these interests were dropped with the continued economic embargo of the country. Various Perth Basin exploration permits were acquired by application to government.
1998 – 2003. Alternative Director to the Chairman and General Manager of Empire Oil & Gas NL listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in early 1998 with the focus being on onshore Perth and Carnarvon Basin exploration permits. Before listing a favourable joint venture with CalEnergy Gas (UK) Limited was secured to fund an active exploration programme in the Perth Basin.
2004 – 2020. Independent Consultant, miscellaneous and wellsite geology, project evaluation, PetroAfrique Oil & Gas Limited, Gryphon Mining & Energy Pty Ltd and other private projects.
2014 – 2020. Project evaluation and advisory Nigerian Delta, various basins in PNG and isolated gas prospects and leads, Canning Basin, Western Australia.
2004 – 2021. Independent Consultant.
In respect to petroleum geology, various office assignments carried out for Central Petroleum Limited, New Standard Energy and Kingsway Oil Limited.
Wellsite Geology Assignments:
Central Petroleum Limited: Onshore Northern Territory.
Pedirka Basin wells, Simpson Desert
Blamore-1, CBM 93-001, Simpson-1, CBM 93-003, CBM 93-004, CBM 107-002, CBM 107- 001 and three coal exploration wells.
Amadeus Basin: Great Victoria Desert
Johnson West-1 and Surprise-1. Most recent project was the Surprise-1 RE H a successful horizontal well that tested 380 BOPD from the Lower Stairway Sandstone.
Empire Oil & Gas NL: Parrot Hill-2, onshore Carnarvon Basin; Moriary-1, onshore North Perth Basin.
Kingsway Oil Limited:
Sally May-2, fully cored through the Nita – Goldwyer section. Kidson Sub-Basin, Great Sandy Desert, onshore Western Australia.
Kia Petroleum Limited: Hoadleys-1 onshore Surat Basin, Queensland.
New Standard Energy – Conoco JV:
Nicolay-1, Goldwyer Formation, shale gas exploration, 4 x 90m cores. Kidson Sub-Basin, Great Sandy Desert, onshore Western Australia.
Key Petroleum NL – Buru JV:
Cyrene-1, Goldwyer Formation, shale gas/oil exploration, onshore Canning Basin.
Titan Energy Limited: Warradagee-1, onshore Northern Perth Basin.
1998 – 2004
Empire Oil & Gas NL stock exchange listing
I was Alternate Director to the Chairman and General Manager Empire Oil & Gas NL. This company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in early 1998. The privately held assets of Empire (WA) NL and Rough Range Oil Pty Ltd were vended into this floatation. The main focus of the newly floated company was further exploration of the area about the historic undeveloped Gingin No.1 and No.2 gas discoveries located in EP 389 to the north of Perth City. The deal with CalEnergy Gas (UK) Limited to fund $14 Million to earn 50% in EP 389, encouraged investment in the float.
Empire Oil & Gas NL operated several seismic surveys and drilled two deep exploration wells in the onshore Perth Basin and drilled four exploration wells in the onshore Carnarvon Basin. Small scale development of the historic Rough Range Oil Field was also carried out.
Being a small company I was involved in a diverse range of work inclusive of corporate, legal and accounting matters. I was however was mostly involved with technical evaluation of project areas and permit management, as well as planning, regulatory approval and management of seismic and drilling operations.
Regretfully the drilling programmes were not that successful, although further drilling in recent years established gas production in the Gingin area, but for many reasons I resigned my positions with Empire Oil & Gas NL in 2004 before this latter drilling.
Director of private company Empire (WA) NL. Highlight was to secure an agreement with CalEnergy Gas (UK) Limited to fund $14 Million exploration programme in Perth Basin Permit EP 389 to earn 50% interest in this and other Perth Basin permit areas.
The company concentrated acquiring Perth Basin acreage recognising that demand for gas was improving as the Dampier to Perth gas pipeline had limited capacity. The main area of activity was the southern Dandaragan Trough situated immediately north of Perth within permit EP 389, extending north to include the historic Gingin 1&2 gas discoveries.
The company sought a farm in partner to fund exploration in its Perth Basin permits. CalEnergy Gas (UK) Limited, a British subsidiary of a significant utility company in the USA (Midwestern), agreed to acquire up to 50% of Empire’s, Perth Basin interests for an expenditure commitment of $14 million. Seismic operations commenced in early 1997.
A 100% interest in the onshore Carnarvon Basin EP41 Pt3 was acquired from Ampolex by a new Empire subsidiary Rough Range Oil Pty Ltd in the lead up to the planned flotation of Empire Oil & Gas NL on the Australian Stock Exchange.
Other Private Interests
I was Director and a third shareholder of Maneroo Oil Company Limited that, funded by a tax effective scheme, drilled the Waterloo No.1 oil exploration well in the Northern Eromanga Basin, Queensland. The well did not intersect commercial oil.
Director and cofounder of Tulloch Resources NL. This company had a cohesive portfolio of exploration interests and had attracted seed capital to see the company through to stock exchange listing. The prospectus was printed and all looked encouraging when worldwide Central Banks sold down gold reserves, an event that was a set-back to the mineral exploration industry in general. Tulloch Resources NL never floated, although some properties were later vended into successful float Western Areas NL, so all was not lost.
Director of Private Companies – Various Projects. Highlight was the sale of Queensland interests to multinational oil company Conoco
As director of Empire (WA) NL and Empire (Qld) Ltd it was planned to float a new petroleum exploration company Empire Oil and Gas NL. However it was also a priority to attract venture participation within individual permits.
Empire (Qld) Limited commenced negotiating a farm in agreement with multinational company Conoco to fund exploration in several Queensland permits. Conoco proposed that an easier solution was to buy Empire (Qld) Limited. The Queensland permits all had potential for coal-seam methane drainage (CBM) and Conoco had already acquired by purchase permits contiguous with Empire’s holdings with similar but more defined CBM potential. The sale of Empire (Qld) Limited to Conoco, as a one third shareholder, was for a personally significant amount.
Another Empire subsidiary acquired a conditional production sharing contract (PSC) with the Myanmar government over Block M, a large up-thrust island in the Bay of Bengal. An adventurous project however funding could not be found due to the ongoing economic embargo of the Myanmar military regime. Empire (NT) Limited made two applications in the Amadeus Basin.
Quite separately from Empire activities I was founding director of a mineral exploration company Tulloch Resources NL. This company acquired by application a series of new tenements in Western Australia.
Back-door Listing of Anzoil NL
Based upon the interest in the Hanoi Basin Project, Anzoil NL and Kiwi Coal Corporation Limited were acquired by an inactive listed company shell, Golden Bounty Resources NL. This shell was renamed Anzoil NL with the scheme of arrangement allowing issue of shares to acquire the private company assets held by myself And my partners, as well as raising additional funds from the general public. This process known as back-door listing or a reverse takeover.
I acted as Exploration Manager of this listed company.
The newly listed company operated its first well Point Torment No.1, EP 104 Canning Basin shortly after listing and made a yet to be developed gas discovery.
The Hanoi Basin Production Sharing Contract (PSC) was then signed and the board of directors of Anzoil NL decided to focus solely totally on the Hanoi Basin PSC exploration.
By mutual agreement, the three founders agreed with a new controlling shareholder to exit the company and ultimately I sold my shares in the newly listed company into a positive market.
Anzoil NL subsidiary companies were then acquired by a company associated with myself and two other individuals. The Canning Basin interests were sold to a third party prior to our purchase. The subsidiaries were renamed Empire (WA) NL (the original Anzoil NL) and Empire (Qld) Limited (the original Kiwi Coal Corporation Limited).
Private Start-up Companies
On returning to Perth, I became involved in the development of two small private companies that acquired petroleum permits by application. Kiwi Coal Corporation Limited, which acquired a series of onshore permits in Queensland that were considered gas prospective. The other company, Anzoil NL, acquired onshore permits in South Australia and Canning Basin Western Australia. Ultimately these private companies and their interests were held by myself and two other founders.
In 1989 to 1991 I went to Hanoi, Vietnam several times during the period of sudden diminishing influence in the county by the USSR. After one and a half years the basis to secure a Production Sharing Contract over the Hanoi (Red River) Basin was agreed with PetroVietnam and Anzoil NL. The Hanoi Basin a significant Tertiary Basin with modest existing gas production defined by exploration conducted by the USSR.
Arkaroola, Northern Flinders Ranges, South Australia
I spent a few months working at Arkaroola, a private national park set up by Reg Sprigg, who founded Beach Petroleum NL and was an original technical promoter and shareholder of Santos Limited. Arkaroola, which was funded by tourism, was located in the remote and rugged Northern Flinders Ranges, South Australia. There I worked as a Ridge Top Tour Driver carting tourists through amazing rugged ranges a steep tracks, did various maintenance activities, and after the cook was fired I took on this role for a while.
Beach Petroleum NL, Melbourne, Victoria; Senior Geologist then Chief Geologist (non-operating areas).
I joined Beach Petroleum NL as a Senior Geologist in late 1982. The company was aware and encouraged my interest in seismic interpretation. I carried out a basin study in the onshore South Australian portion of the Otway Basin where I planned, was involved with the acquisition, processing and then interpretation of a significant seismic survey. At the same time I was involved in seismic acquisition and interpretation onshore Gippsland Basin. My vision at the time was to become a Petroleum Explorationist. In 1984 I was appointed Chief Geologist (non-operating areas). This position involved overseeing non operated exploration activity in the Eromanga Basin and offshore Gippsland Basin as well as evaluation of new ventures. I also continued to interpret seismic in Beach operated permits that I had previously worked on in the company. In Eromanga Basin permit ATP 269 I was involved with the promotion of the Bodalla South Prospect within Beach and to the joint venture at large, both at the detailed seismic stage and then promoting it as the priority prospect for drilling. The Bodalla South No.1 well was an oil discovery. Development of the Bodalla South Oil Field was successful and follow up exploration drilling discovered the Kenmore Oil Field and other smaller oil fields. This oilfield remain productive today.
Even after the collapse in the price of oil in 1986 Beach Petroleum remained a profitable company. Sale of its offshore Gippsland interests to the Gas and Fuel Corporation further increased its cash reserve. Unfortunately this precipitated a take-over by Claremont Petroleum NL and associated hostile raiders. After the stock market crash of October 1987, the office of Beach Petroleum NL was closed, relocated to Sydney and all management and staff were retrenched excepting the Chief Geophysicist. Not long after this the aforementioned hostile raiders sold to Beach Petroleum an interest in a Californian Oilfield, South Burbank which was held by a Liberian company. This substantially depleted oilfield that was sold to Beach Petroleum at a greatly inflated price, years of legal wrangling followed.
Magnet Group, Perth, Western Australia
Petroleum Geologist and later Supervising Geologist with the Magnet Group of companies, several Perth based Australian Public Companies with extensive interests in petroleum exploration permits onshore and offshore Australia. At the time Magnet Group held more operating permits than any other company in Australia except Santos. I immediately became responsible for 6 offshore permits in the Timor Sea and Bonaparte Gulf and later was involved with onshore permits in eastern Australia, Eromanga Basin, Bancannia Trough, Georgina Basin and also 2 permits in the Great Australian Bight.
In mid-1982 in became obvious that the Magnet Group was going to have to reorganise and consolidate and I decided to look for alternative employment, I was keen to work for a company that was less speculative, where I could develop more skills as an exploration skills. I was fortunate to be offered a position as a Senior Geologist with Beach Petroleum NL then based in Melbourne.
Contract Wellsite Geologist, Western Australia
Went around the world and returned to Australia. Contract Well Site Geologist on four wells in Australia including the Woodada No.1 gas discovery, Perth Basin and the politically controversial Fitzroy River No.1 drilled on the aboriginal controlled Noonkanbah Station, in the Canning Basin.
Exploration Logging, South East Asia and Australia
After receiving my degree I came to Australia and obtained employment as a Mud-logging Geologist with Exploration Logging Incorporated (EXLOG, now Baker), Perth & Singapore Offices. I was expecting to get employment in mineral exploration, alas the Mineral Boom had bust and in 1974 Australia was in recession.
Initial training was on Browse Basin wells operated by Woodside Petroleum. Not long after I was transferred to the Singapore office and spent most of the next few years working on onshore and offshore wells in Indonesia ; Java Sea, Sundah Straits, South Sumatra, Ache, Kalimantan and Irian Jaya.
This was a period of very active drilling and petroleum discovery of Indonesia’s Tertiary Basins. I was on many new discovery and development wells. Drilling was quite treacherous at times due to shallow high formation pressures, never a dull moment. With a friend we ran our own operation out of Jakarta in order to escape Singapore for a year. I also worked in the Thai Gulf.
During a period of inactivity in Indonesia, when the government increased its cut from Production Sharing Contracts, I worked out of Perth on the North West Shelf, North Rankin No.5, Scott Reef No.2 and Caswell No.1, as well as onshore Perth Basin Warro No.2.