Georgina Basin Prospectivity Study


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Figure 1 Georgina Basin Location Map

The Georgina Basin is prospective for both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons, and contains evidence of several active petroleum systems, with both gas and oil shows having been reported in the southern Georgina Basin (Figure 1). Key potential source rocks include the middle Cambrian Thorntonia Limestone and the Arthur Creek Formation (Figure 2; Questa Australia Pty Ltd, 1994; Ambrose et al., 2001; Boreham and Ambrose, 2007; Dunster et al., 2007; Tiem et al., 2011; Kruse et al., 2013).

The source rocks in the Georgina Basin are considered to be elements of the Larapintine Petroleum Supersystem of Bradshaw (1993); whereas elements of the Neoproterozoic Centralian Petroleum Supersystem of Bradshaw et al. (1994) have yet to be documented in this basin.


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Figure 2 Cambrian stratigraphy
of the southern Georgina Basin

Several products have been released for the Georgina Basin to assist explorers in understanding the conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon potential of the southern Georgina Basin. Key data products include a geoscience data package and a HyLogger data package.

The Geoscience Data Package is a geospatial data compilation for the Georgina Basin, with a focus on the southern part of the basin. The data set includes three components: an ARC-GIS package (that includes geochemistry, biostratigraphy, formation top picks, hydrocarbon shows, XRD data, XRF-ICPMS data, Geoscience Australia maps, map products and geophysics), a seismic data compilation (incorporating existing publicly-available seismic data from the southern Georgina Basin), and a well folio (summarising in graphic form the key stratigraphic, geochemical, biostratigraphic, hydrocarbon shows, wireline log, porosity, permeability and HyLogger data for 29 wells in the southern Georgina Basin). A second release of the ARC-GIS package will include additional data acquired in 2015, including XRD, XRF, mineralogy and geomechanical data. The HyLogger Data Package includes reprocessed HyLogger data from 25 wells in the basin (on both the Northern Territory and Queensland sides), as shown in Figure 3.

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Figure 3 Petroleum shows and
indications in the southern Georgina Basin

The Onshore Energy Systems Section at Geoscience Australia is currently undertaking a comprehensive geochemical study of the Georgina Basin. One component of the study is the Australian Source Rocks Mapping Project, in which newly acquired and legacy total organic carbon (TOC) and Rock-Eval pyrolysis screening data are used to determine the distribution, type, quality, maturity and generation potential of source rocks in the basin. The second component of this study uses molecular (biomarker) and compound-specific stable carbon and hydrogen isotopic analysis to conduct gas-oil and oil-source rock correlations to better define the basin's petroleum systems.

Other products include publications released by Geoscience Australia, conference presentations and journal articles (detailed below).

Reports and datasets

Peer-reviewed journal articles

Conference presentations, posters and papers


  • Ambrose, G.J., Kruse, P.D. and Putnam, P.E., 2001. Geology and hydrocarbon potential of the southern Georgina Basin, Australia. The APPEA Journal: An Oil and Gas Odyssey, 41:1, pp. 139-163.
  • Bradshaw, M., 1993. Australian petroleum systems. PESA Journal, No. 21, 43-53.
  • Bradshaw, M.T., Bradshaw J., Murray A.P., Needham D.J., Spencer L., Summons R.E., Wilmot J. and Winn S., 1994. Petroleum systems in west Australian basins. In: Purcell P.G. and R.R. (Editors), The Sedimentary Basins of Western Australia: Proceedings of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia Symposium, Perth, 1994, pp. 93-118.
  • Dunster, J.N., Kruse, P.D., Duffett, M.L. and Ambrose, G.J., 2007. Geology and Resource Potential of the Southern Georgina Basin. Northern Territory Geological Survey. Digital Information Package DIP007.
  • Questa Australia Pty Ltd, 1994. Northern Territory Geological Survey, Petroleum Basin Study - Georgina Basin. Northern Territory Geological Survey, Darwin and Questa Australia Pty Ltd., Adelaide, 203 pp.
  • Kruse, P.D., Dunster, J.N. & Munson, T.J., 2013. Chapter 28: Georgina Basin. In: Ahmad, M. and Munson, T.J. (Compilers), Geology and mineral resources of the Northern Territory. Northern Territory Geological Survey, Special Publication, 5, 28.1-28.56.