Who we are

About Us

Leading The Way

Drilling solutions

Washington’s Exploration was an offshoot of Washington Drilling when Steve Pilcher partnered with Bill in running the company.

The company has grown from one rig to twenty 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 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 began drilling in 1978 and has worked all over New Zealand, Australia and Papua New Guinea as well as 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. Steve currently runs the company.

Shane Dale

Shane is the Manager of Washington’s Exploration Ltd since 2009 and has been in the contracting industry since 1994 and administrates contract, project management, logistics, quality, and health and safety as well as 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 activities and services have an impact on the well being of our environment. Hence Washingtons Exploration conducts its operations responsibly and with due regard to any environmental impact. In line with modern business practices, we strive to minimise any adverse environmental effects in all our activities and take an active role in raising the environmental awareness and responsibility of our employees, contractors, suppliers and customers.

Washingtons Exploration Ltd considers the occupational health and safety of its employees to be of primary importance, it believes that the creation of a responsible health and safety culture in all its operations is integral to long-term success.


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

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

We currently have 5 staff who have attained New Zealand Certificate in Drilling (Non-hydrocarbon) Level 4 with other staff progressing through to completion 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 and the high morale of the employees, our crew achieves excellent drilling results.