Another year done and dusted, and what a year it was! There were some monumental changes here in the bug house, some you’ve heard about and some you have not…

But before we reveal all, this year also marked an important milestone – our 40th year in business. From humble beginnings on Roger and Dianne’s farm in Maitland an hour or so out of Adelaide, to our headquarters now in Perth, each step has been an adventure.

So it’s time for some reflection before we cast our eyes on the future (and oh what sights await!). We’ve compiled a timeline of key events in our company’s history at the end of this article so you can see how far we’ve come, and below we chat about the year that was.

2023 – A Year of Expansion and Growth:

This year was quite something.

MGPalaeo took sole ownership of rig site operations in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia in late 2022, amicably ending a 15-year partnership with PT Horizon Geoconsulting. And with multiple rig site projects kicking off in early 2023, this rapidly led to another significant milestone – the doubling of our staff numbers. We went from 10 to 21 employees and regular contractors in a matter of weeks! Ongoing rig site work overseas and in Australia over the next 24 months will ensure everyone continues to get lots of travel points.

So much happened in the blink of an eye: our staff (with Borzou Zein) ran a 3-day biostratigraphic and petrophysics workshop in Dili (Timor-Leste). We returned to Australia and spent a lot of time in the Perth Basin, compiling a geological database there, while our Great Artesian Basin project with Geoscience Australia continued to expand.

We were involved with palynological and sedimentological projects right across the energy spectrum – and right across Australia – from groundwater studies in the Canning, mineral sands in Queensland and gold mining in NSW, to hotshots in the Perth Basin and CCUS studies off the North West Shelf. Archaeological studies even took us to Esperance on WA’s southern coastline and then across to Paramatta in Sydney’s outer suburbs.

Our Perth-based lab is undergoing an overhaul to ensure we can continue providing quality palynological slides, while also expanding to offer more services, including phytolith and diatom processing for archaeological studies and environmental monitoring.

Looking Forward:

A lot is happening in 2024, too…

Perhaps one of the most exciting developments is our new partnership with PT Intertek Utama Services. This collaboration, including access to a fully operational palynological laboratory in Jakarta, marks a new era for MGPalaeo and allows us to offer a full suite of geological services across Indonesia, from office-based to rig site.

2024 will also see John Lignum and Amely Allgoewer relocate to Brisbane. This strategic move allows us to provide locally based palynological and sedimentological services across eastern Australia. Combined with the hard work happening in our Adelaide office, it’s exciting times indeed – but we will miss them both in Perth!

It’s also dizzying times, and we’re implementing this growth carefully, working hard backstage to ensure our foundation remains stable and we can continue to provide quality services to our clients.

Forty years in business is a huge achievement, and it’s not one we’re taking for granted. To all our staff (past and present), clients, and partners, we say a massive thank you, because MGPalaeo wouldn’t be here without any of you. You’ve helped us through downturns and a pandemic, and our gratitude is immense.

And as we celebrate these achievements, we look to the future with optimism, not fear. The energy sector is evolving and MGPalaeo is evolving with it, because we’ve learned a little something from the fossils we study!

We wish you all happiness and success in the years to come.

Happy holidays!

MGPalaeo’s Timeline

1983 – Roger Morgan returns to Australia after North Sea adventures and collaborates with Barry Ingram, Robyn Purcell and Lynne Milne to form Morgan Palaeo Associates.

1987 – HMP87 (Helby, Morgan, and Partridge) palynological zonation published and becomes the industry standard for Australia.

1989 – Nigel Hooker joins the team.

1990 – Morgan Palaeo Associates begins rigsite palynology operations in PNG.

2002 – Roger Morgan, Nigel Hooker and Barry Ingram make their zonation (MHI, 2002) available to the industry, importantly including the marker species for each zone/subzone.

2004 – Geoscience Australia publishes HMP II, an updated zonation scheme consolidating all that has come before.

2007 – Nigel Hooker departs; Barry Taylor and Matt Dixon join to meet ongoing PNG wellsite demand.

2008 – Partnership with PT Horizon Geoconsulting (formerly Robertson Research Jakarta) begins for PNG rig site operations.

2010 –The group of associates expands to include Jeff Goodall, Carey Hannaford, Mike Macphail, John Filatoff, and Roger Brash, while Barry Ingram retires, and the high-resolution Triassic zonation is developed.

2011 – Roger Morgan and Jeff Goodall form Morgan Goodall Palaeo, and Daniel Mantle joins the team.

2012 – Adam Charles, John Lignum, and Marty Young join the company, with Barry Taylor and Matt Dixon moving on.

2014 – Perth office and laboratory opens, and MGP 2014 becomes the industry standard across Australia.

2015 – Roger Morgan and Jeff Goodall step aside, and MGPalaeo is born with Carey, Adam, Dan, John, and Marty as directors.

2015 – Amely Allgoewer joins as Senior Sedimentologist to lead a new sedimentology department, and a localised high-resolution palynological zonation for the Bedout Sub-basin is developed.

2016 – AUSTRALIS geological database commissioned by Carnarvon Petroleum, and the first combined sedimentological and palynological core workshop is run (Marine and marginal marine incursions over the Mungaroo Formation).

2018 – MGPalaeo’s AUSTRALIS geological database hosted within GPinfo in ongoing partnership with Petrosys.

2020 – Roger Morgan passes away. RIP Papa Roger.

2021 – Jeff Goodall steps down as Silent Director.

2022 – MGPalaeo takes over as the sole contract holder for PNG and Indonesian rig site operations, plus offers petrophysical services via an ongoing partnership with Borzou Zein.

2023 – Partnership with Intertek (Jakarta) is formalized to provide a full suite of geological services across Indonesia, and our core group doubles from 10 to 21!

2024 – New Brisbane office opening soon and a new sedimentologist joins the team…