We profile only a selection of our Associates on these pages. Profiles of our other Associates are available on request.


Consultant 2015

Acknowledged explorationist with about 20 years’ experience and understanding of all Norwegian provinces: North Sea, Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea, including Barents Sea South East (former grey zone), supplemented by experience from North Africa. Has held key roles for Norwegian Major and mid-sized Operators, as staff and, more recently, as a consultant, including Project Leader and Exploration Manager, but has maintained hands-on technical skills.  Key expertise areas: Source rock, basin development and structural framework interpretation, seismic interpretation, seismic design and acquisition, attribute & AVO analysis; all as a basis for complete regional reviews of basins & plays and prospect generation & maturation, as well as exploration well planning and operational aspects. Has evaluated and managed many operated licenses and near-field & frontier concession rounds on the NCS.  Significant experience in the integration of Exploration & Business Development strategy & activity, with high exposure to farm-ins and farm-outs.  Skilled user of tools and workstations from Schlumberger: Petrel, IESX, Geoframe, GeoX & Cegal; Blueback Toolbox; Landmark: Openworks and Seisworks;  ESRI: ArcGIS.  Holds an MSc in Structural Geology and a CBA in MBA. 

Mike Naylor

Mike Naylor

Mike Naylor is an alumnus of Cambridge University with a Ph.D. in geology. He has 32 years of business experience latterly in senior leadership roles, and prior to this as research manager, oil exploration manager, research scientist and exploration geologist. Prior to retiring from Shell, he was Vice President Technical, Global Exploration and Board Director of several Shell ventures.
As a consultant, he works with technology and energy companies on strategy, new business development, organisation and process design, change management and leadership education. He also advises investment banks on oil and gas matters.
Oil and gas exploration - including strategy, portfolio analysis, technical and business work processes, and organisational development and – is a special area of expertise. In this area, Mike works for a number of mid-sized independent oil and gas companies as a strategic advisor to senior management. He also delivers a highly acclaimed course ‘Best practice in exploration management’.
Mike can add particular value to your project work by providing a senior leader’s perspective in the early scoping and direction-setting of major change initiatives, and he has been retained by several leading management consulting firms on that basis.
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Photo John Nicholson

John Nicholson

Following a Ph.D at Cambridge university, John Nicholson has gained 37 years' experience as a petroleum geologist, some 26 years in consulting (Highland Geology Limited, and the highly successful Midland Valley Exploration Limited) and 11 years with oil majors BP and Britoil. He is a hands-on technical expert in prospect evaluation: recognising new plays, mapping licensed blocks and new Round offers, recommending exploration and development policy, writing and presenting farm-in and farmout brochures, making licence applications and giving presentations at Board and regulatory authority level.

John has been a member of and led numerous teams which have been successful in drilling wildcats both onshore and offshore, most recently in India where he was Senior Asset Manager for an operator which drilled a major gas well in Tripura in 2011 and drilled a series of successful oil development step-out wells in the complex Kharsang Field. He has worked in Northwest Shelf of Australia, onshore Australia and Papua New Guinea; the Gulf Coast of the USA; the UK and Norwegian Northern, Central, Southern, Danish and Dutch North Sea; the English Channel and Southwestern Approaches basins, offshore Ireland; the UK Midlands and Dorset; in the Andes in Argentina, Bolivia and Colombia; in Russia; and in nearly all of the offshore and onshore basins of India. His recent focus has been on India, North Sea, and Australia.

John owns and maintains licences for Kingdom 2D/3D seismic interpretation packages. He’s written innovative software to structurally analyse complex seismic data, and has provided services and software for nearly 30 companies.
He has just completed a 7-module course "Evaluation of Licence Round and Farm-in Blocks for Geologists and Geophysicists". The course encourages creative thinking in exploration and is based on software written by John for validation of seismic interpretations and section balance work.
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Richard Birtles2

Richard Birtles

Richard has 20 years experience from Shell International where he held diverse technical and leadership roles in worldwide Exploration. During the last 10 years he has been based in Norway, where he has provided advisory and management services in Exploration, Business Development, Portfolio Management, Strategy and Resource Assessment. Richard has participated in the USGS World Energy Consortium for the estimation of worldwide resources.

Consultant 2007

Petroleum geologist with almost twenty five years of exploration and development experience, mainly gained with a major and a large and highly successful independent company. He has operated as an independent consultant over the last seven years. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology and a Master of Science Degree in Petroleum Geology. In geographical terms his experience takes in sedimentary basins from northwest Europe, Eastern Europe, West Africa, North Africa, East Africa, South Asia, North America and Central America. Although he has been mainly engaged in project geological roles, during his professional formative years he held oil company positions as a wellsite geologist, a log analyst and also cross trained as a geophysicist. This multidisciplinary background and its ongoing practical application has led him towards consulting roles that require a balance of geoscience technical skills and experience. He has been engaged in teaching and has presented at international technical conferences. These days most of his time is spent on exploration/appraisal asset evaluations and datarooms, farmin/farmout work, peer review and mentoring of junior staff. He has also advised start-up companies on asset acquisition and technical staffing. He owns SMT Earthpak+ and 2D-3D software and has a home office equipped with HP workstation/Dual Monitors.
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Exploration Options AS, Skansegaten 13a, 4006 STAVANGER, Norway               Tel: +47 97572878               info@explorationoptions.com