RISC ACQUIRES ISIS – Stacking the odds in the high stakes treasure hunt for offshore gas

Australia’s largest independent technical advisor to the oil and gas sector, RISC, has just got bigger, announcing it is acquiring ISIS Petroleum Consultants and expanding its capabilities in the high stakes offshore exploration race.

RISC Chief Executive Peter Dawson says cost pressures on oil and gas explorers are forcing them to more comprehensively analyse and process data before committing to expensive exploration programs.

“ISIS is an industry leader in using sequence stratigraphy and seismic interpretation to assist clients to target potential oil and gas traps.  They have an excellent track record for increasing exploration success. Partnering with ISIS will help our clients make better informed decisions about where to look for oil and gas” said Mr Dawson.

Offshore petroleum exploration expenditure fell 10.2% in the December quarter according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Expenditure on drilling fell by 13.5%.

“Oil and gas exploration has always been speculative, but we are going into old areas with new ideas and new technology with the aim of stacking the odds in our clients’ favour” commented Mr Dawson.

“The ISIS skill set allows RISC to provide clients with a seamless flow of information from the basin evaluation phase, exploration prospect identification, through discovery, project evaluation and production”.

Part-owner of ISIS, Paul Carter sees opportunities to expand further afield.  “The RISC balance sheet allows ISIS to pursue some of the largest mapping and target selection projects in the global E&P market.  This deal really takes the shackles off us.”

The larger RISC will offer a wide range of innovative solutions from targeted exploration expertise through to support of commercial negotiations.

“In Australia, the oil and gas sector is currently focused on production with many of the large gas projects coming online over the next year or two. We are currently not seeing the level of transactions that we saw back in 2012. However we expect that to change in the near future,” Mr Dawson said.

The slowdown in Australian E&P transactions has been offset by an increased level of activity in other regions, which RISC has been supporting.

“Our expertise is very transferable and we are attracting substantial new business overseas. South East Asia, Africa and Europe are growth markets for us, with our business in these regions showing sharp increases over the past 12 months.  We are a net exporter for Australia, and we expect this trend to continue” said Mr Dawson.

RISC has carried out engagements in over 80 countries since its inception in 1994. Assignments have included due diligence and advisory assignments for clients covering the full spectrum of the sector – from nationally owned through to private companies and new listings, from private equity funds through to the major banks.

“The acquisition of ISIS expands our capabilities. ISIS is a leader in basin exploration and analysis while RISC typically specialise in  post-discovery evaluation” said Mr Dawson.

“Oil and gas exploration can be a big-win, big-lose game and we are looking to improve our clients risk/reward ratio”

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