Babel (redux balal)

My father worked for the phone company all his life. Actually, that isn’t completely true. In 1943, during World War II, he joined the Marines, got married and managed not to get killed. After the war he returned to his job at the C&P Telephone Co., played around on boats in and around the Potomac [...]

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(Not) Freezing in Inner Mongolia

Thirty seconds seems like an incredibly short amount of time. But a lot of things can happen in thirty seconds. I had removed one of my gloves to turn the page in my field notebook to jot down some measurements on the coal we were sampling. It was a bad idea. In that short amount [...]

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London Calling

Sadly, not The Clash, but something a bit more subdued. Over the last four years I have been acting as an expert witness for an international arbitration. My client is a large Asian oil and gas company who are the respondents in the action. After the decision in early 2018 from the tribunal identifying the damages, [...]

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Queensland University of Technology/China University of Mining and Technology 2nd Annual Field Trip

The second year of this field trip saw us going up the southern Queensland coast looking at both the modern and ancient geological environments. The students are first and second years, from the School of Resources and Geosciences from Xuzhou, China and come for 15 days. In almost all cases this is the first time [...]

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Gas and Environmental Specialist – Welcome New Cipher Associate

Dr Roman Pausch has over 30 years of field and laboratory experience in measuring gas of all types and at all pressures. Most of his field experience has been in remote parts of the world including Thailand, Myanmar, Colombia, Peru as well as in the US and Germany. Many of the field locations, such as [...]

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Fire and Brimstone in the Cretaceous

The Hailaer Basin in Inner Mongolia, China has a lot of coal, mostly of Cretaceous age; some beds are over 40 m in thickness. Setting aside any of its economic uses, the scale of peat accumulation is phenomenal. The basin itself is tectonically dissected into coal fields ranging in size distribution from 20×80 km to 40×120 [...]

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Gas Testing in Mozambique

Cipher has been engaged to oversee the evaluation of gas in coal in an area near the town of Tete, Mozambique. An extensive drilling program is being undertaken to characterize the coal and organic sediments for gas content within the Moatize Formation (Permian).  The coal-bearing formation is upwards of 800 m thick in some places with [...]

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Balal

As we travelled between Katowice and Krakow, the Polish translator switched effortlessly back and forth between English, Chinese and her native language. I can vouch that her English was impeccable and can only guess that her Chinese was too, based on the intensity of the exchange and the frequency of the erupting laughter. I confess [...]

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Welcome New Cipher Associates

Cipher would like to welcome three new Associates to the team: Mr Ryan Morris, Mr Peter Roles and Mr Tan Ee. All three have extensive experience in the petroleum business, and the addition of their skills significantly widens the scope of Cipher’s expertise to include hydrogeology (Ryan Morris), conventional and unconventional petroleum engineering (Peter Roles) [...]

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QUT and CUMT Field Trip in Queensland

In early August of this year (2018), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane, Australia conducted a field trip for undergraduate geologists from China University of Mining and Technology (CUMT), Xuzhou, China. Over the last year in my dual roles as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences, QUT and [...]

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