Bala Kunjan

Bala Kunjan

Exploration Advisor 17701 Bala Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/kunjan-bala-jan19.jpg?width=200&height=235&quality=75&mode=crop&encoder=freeimage&progressive=true

Bala Kunjan has 40 years G&G experience in exploration and development across the oil and gas industry in Asia-Pacific basins of Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

He has worked within integrated teams of geologists, geophysicists and reservoir engineers, leading to significant field developments and discoveries such as the Ravva Oil Field (India), Krishna Godavari Basin (East Coast India) Deepwater Discoveries, East Spar Gas/Condensate Field (Carnarvon Basin, Australia), Tui Oil Field (Taranaki Basin, New Zealand), Casino/Henry/Netherby Gas Fields (Otway Basin), Yolla Gas/Condensate Field (Bass Strait), many Cooper Basin gas and oil fields and currently in the Oyong and Wortel Fields in Madura Strait.

He has been noted for mentoring younger geoscientists since 2004. His core area of interest is in visualizing/communicating exploration risk, and planning for sustainable long-term success through anticipated probabilistic outcomes from given assets/portfolios. He has a bachelor’s degree in geophysics from the Science University of Penang, Malaysia and an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM), University of New South Wales, Australia.

Having started his career with Esso in Malaysia, Kunjan has worked as an employee as well as a consultant with various companies including Delhi Petroleum (Adelaide), Ultramar (Sydney), Santos (Adelaide), Western Mining (Perth), Command Petroleum/ Cairn India (Sydney/Edinburgh/Chennai), Reliance Industries (Mumbai), AWE (Sydney) and Drillsearch (Sydney). Currently he works with Cue Energy in Melbourne. Kunjan is a member ASEG and SPE.



  • 50715 Since the downturn in the oil and gas industry starting in 2014, there have been massive cuts in employment in the industry. Intake of graduates into oil and gas companies has also suffered. Just like employees in the industry, students entering or already in universities have suffered great uncertainty about their future careers and career paths. The aim of my talks is to set out the dynamics of supply and demand scenarios for oil and gas now and into the future. Although it is a complex industry where trying to predict exact outcomes is difficult I try to impart to the young professionals and students that in the near future of 20-30 years oil and gas would have ongoing important role to play. Hence, the reason for those who can handle the uncertainties, not to give up on the industry. Young professionals and students are encouraged to keep themselves occupied either through doing any job that comes their way or to seek further education to better skill them while waiting for the work opportunities to pick up. Any form of work or additional training would have elements that are transferable into their future careers. Challenges to Career Opportunities in the Oil and Gas Industry
    Challenges to Career Opportunities in the Oil and Gas Industry
  • 50711 Exploration outcomes, both positive and negative, are statistical in nature. Despite this fundamental fact, many explorationists, managers, board members and shareholders continue to express surprise at exploration outcomes. Obviously, when a well is successful, everyone is a hero. But the truth is that more often than not, i.e. between 60-70 percent of the time on a global average, we do not obtain commercial success with our drilling campaigns. This is despite the best brains, the best technology and the best data available being employed. The aim of my talk is to lay out the fundamentals of how to design a portfolio of prospects/ wells and predict at which stage of the exploration campaign we can deliver 90 percent certainty of at least one success. I have found this approach much more useful to set up the right expectations so that when the negative results inevitably come in, no one is surprised and that more patience can be encouraged in an organization before eventual success. Having worked with many companies, I have seen much trauma where professionals are dismissed or teams reorganized based on incorrect understanding of the statistical nature of exploration outcomes. My talk will also emphasize that companies which want to have a sustainable E&P business should limit their prospects to a certain Chance of Success range that match their financing capabilities. If this is not done, it will be shown that the probability of company failure increases. How to Conceptualize and Prepare for a Successful Exploration Campaign
    How to Conceptualize and Prepare for a Successful Exploration Campaign
  • 50716 Most geoscientists and students have a tendency to treat the business of exploring for oil and gas as consisting of utilizing purely science and math skills. Based on my own varied exploration experiences around the world and of those experts whom I have worked with, I illustrate the fact that much of exploration is about using one’s imagination in filling the huge gaps of information that are an integral part of our business. In my presentations, I share many examples drawn from work examples to show how imagination has to be part of our work processes. One of my great thrills is in sharing verses that I have written about our business over the years. The Art and Science of Exploration – the Skills required to be a Complete Explorationist
    The Art and Science of Exploration – the Skills required to be a Complete Explorationist

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