Putting outback exploration on the agenda

SOME of Australia's underexplored Paleozoic basins could hold similar potential to hydrocarbon-rich analogous basins such as China's Tarim Basin and onshore Oman's salt basins, Geoscience Australia project leader onshore petroleum Tom Bernecker told the APPEA 2008 Conference on Tuesday afternoon.
Putting outback exploration on the agenda 
Putting outback exploration on the agenda 
Putting outback exploration on the agenda 
Putting outback exploration on the agenda 
Putting outback exploration on the agenda

Speaking at a concurrent session on frontier potential, Bernecker said several basins flanking the Cooper-Eromanga hydrocarbon province could have significant potential - these included the eastern Officer Basin and the Warburton in South Australia, and the Pedirka and Amadeus basins in the Northern Territory. In addition, the Canning Basin in Western Australia and the Georgina in the upper Northern Territory also looked very promising.

As part of Geoscience Australia's Onshore Energy Security Program, new radiometric and aeromagnetic data sets have been acquired.

The work, focusing on basin margins and basinal deeps, is aimed at providing better imaging crustal features such as regional tectonic lineaments that control basin evolution.

The effects of tectonism on the occurrence and preservation of petroleum systems elements is of particular interest, Bernecker said.

One significant survey would follow a stretch of the Canning Stock Route, covering the Canning Basin's Kidson Sub-basin, which is currently being explored by Arc Energy.

Bernecker conceded that many explorers had negative perceptions about Paleozoic basins, which were seen as being over-mature and generally having poor porosity and permeability, and hosting only small fields. But Oman's basins and China's Tarim Basin showed this generalisation didn't always hold true, he said.

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