New Zealand - My First International Trip

I had just graduated from High School in May 1969 and was making my final plans for my first international trip to New Zealand and Australia.  Throughout my High School years I worked for the Kamon Family in Cisco and was very familiar with Mr. Kamon’s ability to locate prospective areas in Australia for exploration for oil and gas.  My boss & mentor, Robert Kamon, had joined a group of businessmen to take a company public in Australia as the energy market was very strong at that time for new offerings.  Mr. Kamon asked me if I would be interested in traveling to New Zealand to check out the availability of concessions for oil & gas exploration and then to join him in Melbourne to work with the draftsman and others on putting together the prospectus for the public offering.  With no hesitation I agreed.

Mr. Kamon and I traveled together until we arrived in Auckland where he went on to Melbourne and I was to journey on to Wellington to meet with the government officials.  My schedule allowed me two weeks to accomplish my task which also included traveling to  see the oil fields on the North Island.

My itinerary for my travel was booked through Pan American.  I arrived in Wellington and took a cab to my hotel and was surprised to learn at the registration desk that they no longer honor Pan American bookings.  I said no problem, I need a room.  The response was we are fully booked as there is a dairy convention in town.  I begged for a room just for the night as I was tired from jet lagged.  Fortunately the convention was to start the next day so they were able to squeeze me in for one night.

I go to the room and collapsed.  First thing I began calling every hotel in Wellington to find me another room.  Sorry “we are fully booked” was the response from every hotel followed by “Did you know the city is hosting a dairy convention?”  After about a dozen calls I realized I am an eighteen year old kid stuck halfway around the world with no place to stay.  So what to do?  Calling more hotels would be a waste of time, so I got the bright idea of calling boarding houses.   This worked out perfect.  The first call I made I got a room and it was near downtown.  Breakfast and Dinner were served family style, which was great, as I was there with other men with most of them wanting to make sure I was being taken care of.

I spent two days in the Minister of Energy department, meeting with geologists and government officials going over the activity currently going on both on and offshore of both islands.  Pretty much everything was tied up by BP but certain areas were to become available when the concession terms were to expire.  I bought numerous maps and publications on published materials covering mostly the north island as it seemed to be the most prospective at that time.

I asked for instructions and contact names for traveling to the oil fields near Plymouth and planned my trip there which was about a 6 hour bus ride.  Looking back I guess I did not think about how I was being received by everyone as I was just18 years old, 6’ 4” and thin as a rail at  155 pounds.  Everyone could not have been nicer.

At the end of my two weeks I journeyed on the Melbourne and met Mr. Kamon there and began running errands all over Melbourne which is another story.


Ivan Webb is known in the Petrol industry as a self-starting change initiator motivated by fresh ideas. His first oil deal dates back to the days of the LBJ Presidency; when Willie Mays and Hank Aaron were still active baseball players. Since then, Ivan Webb has lived through countless swings in the price of oil and gas as well as numerous advancements in oil extraction technology.

IN the past 10 years, he has helped drill 30 wells, including 7 of our own, which were producing on our own behalf.

From the 70’s to the 90’s, he was instrumental in leasing oil and gas concessions in Australia, Guyana and Turkey before narrowing his efforts into producing wells in the Central Texas region. One of areas of expertise has been in finding existing wells in that region. These are wells that may have shut down as they hit their production limit in years past but can be re-completed and reworked to a far greater capacity using the tools of today.

Ivan is currently managing Northern Minerals & Exploration LTD, a public company dedicated to growing investments in the Oil, Gals, Gold & Silver Industry as well as the Founder & President of Kathis Energy.

Ivan Webb