The Board of Delphian Ballistics comprises four industry professionals with an excellent entrepreneurial track record in building and exiting companies. The board members are:
- Stuart McLeod, Managing Director
- Keith Dunbar, Non-Executive Director
- Duncan MacNiven, Executive Director
- Dennis Donald, Executive Director
Dennis Donald and Duncan MacNiven
Founding Shareholders and Executive Directors
Dennis Donald spent over 25 years with Shell. Beginning his career on the drill floor he was latterly instrumental in the introduction of new technology into the Brent Fields, including the first Coiled Tubing Drilling project in the Brents. He left Shell in 1998 having anticipated a growing need in the oil sector for advanced drilling engineering capability. He is a graduate of Robert Gordon’s University educated to Masters Degree level.
Duncan MacNiven began his career as a corporate/oil and gas lawyer with Aberdeen firm Peterkins. Between 1990 and 2002, Duncan worked as outsourced oil and gas counsel for Pentex Energy and Sibir Energy. He then ‘retired’ from the legal world to pursue interests in the oil sector. Duncan is a graduate of Aberdeen University.
In 1998, Messrs MacNiven and Donald established Leading Edge Advantage, (LEA) a specialist independent drilling engineering consultancy. Leading Edge provided advanced drilling engineering capability to the international operating companies. It grew into a global brand within 10 years with operations in all hemispheres and employing up to 50 people. The company specialised in the application of advanced drilling techniques such as coiled tubing drilling, underbalanced drilling and managed pressure drilling. In 2008, the business was sold to a large Aberdeen-based consultancy group. Following sale, the partners were free to develop businesses in their twin areas of interest being onshore oil & gas projects and technology.
In 2007, Dennis and Duncan established Warrego Energy (www.warregoenergy.com) to invest in onshore hydrocarbon plays overlooked or bypassed by more traditionally focused E & P businesses. Warrego is the first Scottish business to own oil and gas real estate in the North Perth Basin in Western Australia. In late 2007, Warrego won a competitive bid for the West Erregulla tight gas field and was provisionally granted an Exploration Permit by the Western Australian government. Following negotiations with the local Amangu people, completed in record time, the government awarded Warrego an unconditional Exploration Permit (EP 469). A successful 3 D seismic survey was undertaken in November/December 2014 following rigorous environmental and governmental approvals process. Warrego aims to deliver an appraisal well in 2017 and commercial gas in 2018: just in time to meet the predicted energy gap in Western Australia.
Dennis Donald and Duncan MacNiven have had considerable success in other joint business ventures since 1998.
The partners raised funding for Alba Resources to enable it to acquire 23% of the UKCS Mariner Field from Amerada Hess. This work allowed a significant percentage of Alba to be acquired for a peppercorn cost. Alba was subsequently sold to Nautical Petroleum some two years later delivering a healthy return on investment.
Downhole Consumables Business
Dennis and Duncan established a design and manufacturing business in 1999 to bring downhole polymer products to the oil field. Following preliminary work to design the initial product, a plastic centraliser, Dennis and Duncan raised capital and installed a management team to advance the commercialisation of the product on a day to day basis. They supported the management team through the introduction of this new product in the market. Following successful early engagement with the market, the strategic direction of the company was set for early exit. This investment was largely hands off and the company was sold to an Aberdeen-based service business in 2005.
As part of a continuing quest for innovative technologies and methods of enhancing hydrocarbon production, Dennis and Duncan recognised immense potential in the power of converging jet perforation technologies. Delphian Ballistics was therefore established to bring this disruptive technology to a market locked in a ‘bigger or deeper is better’ paradigm. The founding partners set Delphian on a path to design, develop and commercialise the concept, upon which, they believed, a suite of products and methods might be developed. Following successful finance raising and international IP protection, the product was taken to an initial concept phase. Further funding was secured from Stuart McLeod and a dedicated team was then built under Stuart’s leadership. Keith Dunbar (below) was welcomed as the fourth and final major shareholder and director of the business, bringing a breadth and depth of manufacturing skills and networks. These partners and shareholders are now totally focused on the growth development and continued market ingress of Delphian.
Keith Dunbar, of Warren, Ohio, USA, graduated from the University of Cincinnati Industrial Management program and commenced work with a domestic and international hand tool company, ascending to the position of Vice President of Manufacturing and Vice President of Hardware Marketing.
Keith left that employment in 1983 to start Bral Corporation, a manufacturer and importer of industrial components. Bral Corp serves railcar builders, OE automotive, heavy-truck and trailer manufacturers, oil and gas, and a variety of other industries. Keith has also been involved in numerous other startup companies including (a) Engineered Exhaust Systems, a designer and manufacturer of small-engine exhaust systems, (b) Transglobal, Inc., a designer and manufacturer of roll-up door systems for truck and trailer applications, and (c) Threaded Products Company, a manufacturer for a variety of threaded fittings.
Keith has extensive and hands-on manufacturing experience with castings, forgings, stampings, CNC machining, and welding and fabrication.