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Cipher is Ten

It was like jumping off the end of a pier into unknown depths with unknown dangers – but a quick calculation (in actuality lots of deep reflection) indicated that it was safe…-ish; nevertheless it was exhilarating. Thus, Cipher was born. In early September 2010 Cipher started trading and by late September we had our first […]

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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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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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Still an interesting read – COAL: A Human History

A while ago I reviewed a book on coal. Recently I saw it on my book shelf and thought it might be interesting to put that review up on the Cipher blog. Below is a slightly abridged version of the original review. Enjoy. I knew something was up when upon entering the shop the friend […]

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Bangers and Mash with a good dash of Pickel

The fantastic thing about geology is that it is the perfect mix of both science and imagination. There is that old saying of Einstein about imagination* and geologists, on a daily basis, have to exercise that muscle. But it is the shear scale that geological imagination has to transgress – from continents to subatomic particles […]

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Vinegar, Noodles and Alice in the Triassic

If your idea of heaven is noodles, then when you die, you will come to Taiyuan. In case you didn’t know, the Shanxi Province in China is the noodle capital of the world and the capital of Shanxi is the city of Taiyuan (at least in terms of noodles). I had come to Taiyuan to […]

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