Jump to Search Jump to Navigation Jump to Content

Sandy Bell

Adjunct Research Fellow
Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET)

Contact details

+61 (0) 410 237 515


One month after completing his Ph.D. in particle physics from Lancaster University Sandy was on a boat in the English Channel working on seismic acquisition for BP Exploration on the Wytch farm oil field.

That was the beginning of a 30 year career in oil and gas working for BP, Occidental and Shell.
Initially trained as a geophysicist with BP Sandy  "followed the molecule" in oil and gas working on some 30 exploration, greenfield, brownfield and abandonment projects worldwide.
It became clear working on those projects that the proper application of front end loading (the use of scenario planning, opportunity framing, risk management, assurance and concept selection), not the actual project execution, was key to maximising value creation from oil and gas developments.
In 2010 Sandy left Shell and set up a consultancy company, Barrel Chasers Pty Ltd, to seek to apply these skills for clients. His company is currently contracted  in that capacity on one of the largest LNG developments in the world.
Having worked on oil and gas projects Sandy has become an Adjunct Research Fellow at CET to seek to apply this experience to the mining industry. How can mining projects maximise shareholder value and minimise risk of project failure by the proper application of front end loading techniques as practiced in the oil and gas industry?
•    Scenario planning.
•    Opportunity Framing.
•    Concept Selection.
•    Assurance.
•    Transferring oil and gas learnings to the mining industry.
In his spare time he puts his old exploration hat on and reviews well completion reports from the 1980s and 1990s searching for hydrocarbon accumulations missed by the then operator (termed "undiscovery wells"). He is currently focusing on a number of basins in Australia and New Zealand.