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SPE WA and PESA Joint Technical Evening Meeting – 50th Anniversary of Awakening the Giants

March 9, 2023 @ 4:45 pm - 8:00 pm

$30.00 – $50.00

Society of Petroleum Engineers Western Australia is proud to present the details of our March Technical Evening Meeting as a joint event in collaboration with the Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia (PESA).

About the Presentation – Celebrating 50+ Years of Northwest Shelf Mega Gas Discoveries

Presented by Don Poynton & Andrew Thompson

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Woodside’s first exploration permit on the North West Shelf. At some 337,000 square kilometres and encompassing an area greater than the size of the British Isles and about half the size of Texas, the permit was possibly the largest offshore oil and gas concession ever granted and well beyond Woodside’s ability to operate.

Immediately after being awarded the permit in June 1963, two of Woodside’s Directors set off overseas in a quest to find a farminee with offshore operating experience.  British company, Burmah Oil Limited, having done its own research in the region, quickly agreed to take a one-third interest in the permit and the operatorship of the joint venture, which soon after included Shell, and slightly later BP and Standard Oil of California’s subsidiary Calasiastic joined the joint venture.

Between 1964 and 1976 Burmah Oil, through its Australian subsidiary, BOC of Australia Limited, often referred to as BOCAL, was responsible for all offshore exploration and appraisal activities on the North West Shelf. This included approximately 80,000 km of seismic acquisition and the drilling of 58 wells, of which 8 were appraisals and 50 wildcats with 13 that could be classified as discoveries.

In 1971, the joint venture made four giant gas-condensate discoveries, at, Scott Reef, North Rankin, Goodwyn and Angel.  In 2021, to mark the 50th anniversary of these discoveries, Woodside helped ex-Burmah staff fund the making of four videos which captured the history behind two of these discoveries- Scott Reef and North Rankin. These videos include interviews with many of the people involved and footage which had been lost for many years or in some cases had never been shown publicly before (excuses in advance for the quality!).

Students (read below)!!!

SPE WA in conjunction with our sponsors are kindly sponsoring students to attend the monthly technical events. Please fill out an application form, explaining why you are interested in attending the SPE WA technical events. Successful applicants will be notified via email. Note that applications will only be accepted up to one week prior to the event.

Free tickets available for Students. Please apply through your Student Chapter.

Event Run Sheet (Catering – Drinks and Food will be provided)

  • Registration open from 4:45 pm
  • Networking drinks & food from 5:15 pm
  • Technical presentation introduction starting at 5:45 pm


SPE Members:                                $30.00

Non-members:                                 $50.00

Bookings close 12 noon 8th March for venue and catering purposes. 


March 9, 2023
4:45 pm - 8:00 pm
$30.00 – $50.00
Event Categories:


Pamelia Hilton Hotel
14 Mill St
Perth, WA 6000 Australia
+ Google Map
(08) 9215 2000
View Venue Website


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