Who we are

About Us

Leading The Way

Drilling solutions

Washingtons Exploration was an offshoot of Washington Drilling when Steve Pilcher joined with Bill in running the company.

The company has grown from one rig to twenty six since 1962. Our projects include coalbed methane production, RC gold and coal sampling, geothermal, diamond coring, horizontal and incline drainage, geotech and site investigation as well as the hire of drill rigs, air compressors, Boosters, pumps and support vehicles.

Who we are

Our Team

Bill Washington
Bill founded Washington Drilling in 1962. The company was one of the first in New Zealand to import large diameter rigs and rotary table rigs and the first to import a Dual Rotary (DR) Foremost rig.
Bill is a life member and one of the founders of the New Zealand Drilling Federation and served as president for many years. Bill is still active in the industry but has stepped back from the day to day running of the company.
Steve Pilcher

Steve currently runs Washingtons Exploration. 

His drilling career began in 1978 and during this time he has worked all over New Zealand, Australia and Papua New Guinea along with four trips to Antarctica.

Steve has 10 years oilfield experience as well as coring, water bores, reverse circulation and site investigation. He holds a current BOP ticket and is a member of New Zealand Drilling Federation Council. 

Shane Dale

Shane is the Manager of Washington’s Exploration Ltd since 2009 and has been in the contracting industry since 1994

Shane’s role involves administrating contracts and project management, logistics, quality, and health and safety in addition to running water bores and associated drilling.


Health and Safety

Being one of New Zealand's leading suppliers to the natural resource, construction and industrial markets, Washingtons Exploration recognizes that it's services can have an impact on the well-being of our environment.

Washingtons Exploration conducts all of its operations responsibly, keeping any environmental impact in mind. We strive to minimise any adverse effects that our activities can have on the environment as well as taking an active role in raising the environmental awareness and responsibility of our employees, contractors, suppliers and customers.
Both Washingtons Exploration Ltd and Washingtons International consider the health and safety of their employees to be of primary importance. We believe that the creation of a responsible health and safety culture in all our operations is essential for long-term success.


Washingtons Exploration have been NZ ACC accredited to tertiary level for 6 continuous years until it was discontinued.

Our International branch was recently awarded an Exxon Mobil safety award in recognition of 1000 days LTI free at Hides PNG.

At this point we have 5 staff who have gained their New Zealand Certificate in Drilling (Non-hydrocarbon) Level 4 while other staff are progressing through to completing this in the near future.
Our Equipment
We have 26 fulltime rigs allowing us to offer a range of services across the drilling and exploration industry.

One of the cornerstones of Washington’s success is the highly competent personnel with a strong sense of responsibility. Thanks to the modern drilling equipment coupled with the high morale of the employees, our crew achieves excellent drilling results.

New Zealand Drillers Federation