Tag Archives: Cipher

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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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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Blue Skies Beijing

Yes, I know. Normally the words ‘blue skies’ and ‘Beijing’ aren’t in such close proximity. Yet, when I was there just a couple of weeks ago, it was indeed blue skies. Warm, yes; smoggy, not really. Though I was inside much of the time … I was in the captivating capital of China for the […]

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High up in Colombia

The lyrics of Neil Young* were going through my head as we trundled down the decline of a mineshaft at 3000 m elevation. We had left the brilliant blue skies of the Andean cordillera moments before, plunging into the darkened tunnel; we were headed for the Guaduas Formation (Late Cretaceous – Paleocene), which contains some […]

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CIPHER RUNS FIELD TRIP TO POWDER RIVER BASIN, WYOMING, USA

It looked like machines and the weather were conspiring against us. The last flight from Denver to Gillette, Wyoming was ‘temporarily’ delayed (which in airport speak means “quite possibly cancelled”) and then there was the weather. I had flown the previous day from Brisbane, Australia to Denver to meet the field trip participants at one […]

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WHY DOES INDONESIA HAVE SO MUCH COAL? – NEW PAPER OUT IN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COAL GEOLOGY

Why does Indonesia have so much coal? This might be like asking why is the sky blue? – but, like that question, it is fundamental and few seem to have considered it. A new paper by Mike Friederich, Tim Moore and Romeo Flores (“A regional review and new insights into SE Asian Cenozoic coal-bearing sediments: […]

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The Society for Organic Petrology Conference – Starting Soon!

We are nearly there! – The 32nd Annual Conference of The Society for Organic Petrology will be held in a few days time. The Organising Committee wishes to thank all the speakers and poster presenters for all their hard work and for all attending participants for their presence. We know that during this current economic […]

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Gas Testing Oversight in Botswana

In June of this year, Gas Specialist Chris Nelson was in Botswana overseeing desorption testing and sample collection as part of Cipher’s services to Exxaro Resources. The Late Permian coal measures in the Kalihari area of Botswana are being investigated for coalbed methane (CBM) potential. The coal deposits of both South Africa and Botswana (and, […]

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