Affiliate Scientist


(801) 587-8540


(801) 585-3540


40 years experience in exploration of frontier basins. As a Principal of the frontier basin ventures and mostly as the ‘innovator’ and ‘instigator’ of these ventures, which include all of the new joint ventures put together by the Sydney Oil Company during the period 1977 to 1988. These resulted in the participation in the discovery of fourteen new oil fields including the South Pepper, North Herald  trend on the Northwest Shelf and the Fairymount, Bodalla South and Nockatunga trends in Queensland. Since 1988, has worked as an independent creating new frontier plays and putting together new acreage blocks in the Northwest Shelf and other basins in Australia, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, the S.W. Pacific Islands, and New Zealand.

Current Position & Professional History

1987 – Present    Managing Director, Petrofocus Consulting Pty. Ltd.

2001 – Present    Research Associate, Energy Geoscience Institute, University of Utah

1998 – 2013       Executive Chairman, Rawson Resources Limited

2010 – 2012       Non-Executive Director, Kea Petroleum PLC

1979 – 1988       Managing Director, Sydney Oil Company

1973 – 1978       President, Era North America Inc.

1965 – 1971       Professor of Geology, Louisiana State University,  Columbia University N.Y. University of South Carolina

Regional Expertise

  • Australia

  • U.S.A.

  • Canada

  • Europe

  • Africa

  • P.N.G.

  • New Zealand

  • S.W. Pacific Islands

  • Philippines

B.Sc. University of Sydney (1958)

M. Sc. University of New South Wales (1960)

Ph.D. University of New South Wales (1963)

Fulbright Scholar, Columbia University, New York, 1963‐1966

Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, Columbia University, 1963‐1965

Queen Elizabeth II Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Sydney, 1966‐1968

Ollé Prize Best Paper Award, Royal Society of NSW, 1968

Best Paper Award, SEPM, 1974

Cited in America Men of Science, 1971 to 1990

Contributing founder Energy Geoscience Institute, University of South Carolina, 1972


U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office, Washington, D.C. Specialist Consultant in the interpretation of marine geological and geophysical data in the S.W. Pacific and Antarctic Oceans.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla California Lamont Doherty Geological Observatory, Columbia University N.Y. Consultant Scientist interpreting the geology of the seafloor in the S.W. Pacific Ocean, and the continental margin around Australia.

Management Consultant, directing a joint venture, which included U.S. Steel, American Ultramar, St. Joe Petroleum, Weeks Petroleum, exploring the Continental Shelf off the East Coast of U.S.A. for oil and gas.

Participated in the now famous Baltimore Canyon Trough Lease Sales and was a successful bidder for offshore acreage with Shell U.S.A., the major participant and operator.

Returned to Australia in 1978 to explore for oil and gas in Australia. Promoted the Northwest Shelf and offshore regions of Australia to the oil industry creating several new joint ventures with overseas (U.K., Canadian) and Australian oil companies to explore various areas of offshore Australia.


As Managing Director of Sydney Oil Company managed a total of over 20 joint ventures exploring for oil and gas across Australia, P.N.G. and New Zealand, and in onshore areas of Texas, Kansas, Colorado, Alberta and Saskatchewan.


Is involved in frontier oil exploration throughout the South West Pacific and Australia. Successful bids such as:

  • Timor Sea Areas AC/P19 and AC/P26

  • The Bass Basin T/27P

  • Gippsland Basin VIC/P39

  • Ragay Gulf, Philippines (GSEC 76)

WA246P Carnarvon Basin, leading to the discovery of the Corvus Gas Field.

Worked closely with companies helping them find partners for their drilling programs in Australia, Southeast Asia and more recently the U.S.A.


Started Rawson Resources Ltd. Rawson is a small active oil explorer listed on Australian Stock Exchange in 2005. With operating interests in the Pedirka, Otway and Surat Basins in Australia, and the Canterbury, Marlborough and Wairarapa Basins in New Zealand.

Participated in the Udacha Gas Discovery Cooper Basin, 2006.

Consultant for various Government Agencies and Private Companies including:

  • Bureau of Mineral Resources, Petroleum Assessment Branch, worked on the following hydrocarbon prospectivity packages:For AIDAB, on the Petroleum Prospectivity of Vanuatu.

  • Browse Basin
  • Londonderry High
  • Malita Graben
  • South Timor Sea
  • West Barrow
  • Gippsland Basin
  • Vlaming Basin.
  • For the Government of Tasmania, prepared a West Coast Tasmania Prospectivity Package.

  • For the Government of Northern Territory, worked on an assessment of all onshore basins.

  • Private Company work through the South West Pacific with specific projects in North West Shelf, Bass Basin, Arafura Sea, Perth Basin, Otway Basin, Gippsland Basin, Timor Sea, P.N.G., Fiji & New Zealand.

Recent Clients Include

  • Maxus Energy, Dallas

  • Hunt Oil, Dallas

  • Texaco, NY, USA

  • Globex Energy, Houston

  • Novus Petroleum Ltd., Sydney

  • Mosaic Oil NL, Sydney

  • Plains Resources International, Houston

  • San Jorge International, Houston

  • Indo‐Pacific Energy (Australia) Pty. Ltd.

  • Trans‐Orient Petroleum (Australia) Pty. Ltd.

  • Wellington New Zealand

  • Occidental Petroleum of Australia Ltd., Brisbane

  • Cal Energy (UK) Ltd.

  • EOG Resources International, Houston

  • Geoscience Australia, Canberra

  • NSW Department of Mineral Resources, Sydney.