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Franz Luitpold Kessler

Subsurface Development Manager,


Franz Kessler is a seasoned geoscientist with over 25 years of experience in subsurface exploration, appraisal, evaluation, and operations. He has spent almost 23 years with Shell working as Exploration Manager, Senior Staff Geologist, and Seismic Interpreter. After which, he went into consulting for different companies in the region. Later on, he also joined the academia, as he now also heads the Geology Department of Curtin University. He is also currently the Subsurface Development Manager of Societe Generale Securities Services, handling several projects in the SEA region.

Franz has worked in the field of deepwater petroleum systems for several years during his time with Shell. In 1998, he has co-engineered Shell’s cheapest ever deepwater well (THEM-1, Congo, TD 300 m, WD 800, total cost of 3800K USD). His international experience also includes his work on the S Atlantic margins (Nigeria, Cameroon, South Africa, Morocco, Brazil). He has also worked for two bidding rounds in Morocco, and has taught deepwater systems in three different Shell companies in Cairo, Stavanger and Perth. He has also taught Deepwater geology as part of the curriculum in Curtin University. Franz has spent almost 8 years now in the Southeast Asian region, covering Sarawak Sabah, Brunei, and circum-Borneo.

Throughout his career, he has gained experience with different projects across the globe. His recent project list includes works from the region:

- Organized a series of Deepwater Workshops for Nippon Oil Exploration. Sessions were also attended by senior staff from NOEX, INPEX, and Petronas (2012)
- Advised for Nippon Oil Exploration & Talisman Energy on their permits, and subsequently conducted Deepwater Gas/Overpressure workshop for the companies (2009-2010)
- Served as Technical Leader for SK 307 Maharaja, Lela field area. He re-interpreted the data and convinced TOTAL to changed their proposed MLJ-206 well. This saved the consortium $100 million dollars. He was also ask to work on deeper levels of for overpressure gas reservoir by means of seismic attribute mapping. (2004-2008, with Shell)

Aside from consulting, Franz has also provided numerous trainings in deepwater petroleum systems both for private companies and for the university curriculum. In 2010, he was also invited to present for the Asia HPHT Workshops. In 2009, he has also trained Nippon Oil junior staff for an integrated petroleum/geophysics/reservoir engineering module. For 3 years, he has taught Reservoir Engineering, Petroleum Geology, Field Mapping, Geodynamics, and Applied Geophysics in Curtin University in Malaysia, where he currently heads the department. Franz is an active member of several organizations including Houston Geological Society (HGS), Geologische Vereinigung (Germangy), and Geological Society of Malaysia.