AusGeo News  September 2007  Issue No. 87

Energy Security Initiative Updates

Fig 1. Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, the Hon Ian Macfarlane, MP viewing some of the acreage release data.

New Data Room accelerates industry access

A new Data Room to enable Australian and international petroleum exploration companies to scrutinise geological and geophysical datasets supporting the annual release of offshore acreage was opened by The Hon Ian Macfarlane, MP on 17 July 2007.

The Data Room at Geoscience Australia’s headquarters was created as part of the Australian Government’s $75 million Offshore Energy Security Program.

With Australia’s use of petroleum increasing and further domestic sources needed, the Program provides exploration companies with new pre-competitive information and improved access to acreage release data.

The Minister said that the long term aim of the Energy Security Initiative is to secure Australia’s domestic oil supply for the future. Mr Macfarlane pointed out that ‘Unless new discoveries are made, current projections for Australia anticipate a self-sufficiency rate of about 33 per cent by 2015, leaving us two-thirds dependent on foreign supply’.

‘The global oil exploration community is showing significantly increased interest in Australia following initiatives by Geoscience Australia to accelerate access to offshore petroleum exploration datasets’, Mr Macfarlane said.

Figure 1. Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, the Hon. Ian Macfarlane, MP viewing some of the acreage release data now available in the new Data Room following the opening. (Larger image [JPG 672.7kb])

For more information phone Marita Bradshaw on +61 2 6249 9452 (email

Onshore Energy Security Program

Fig 2. Seismic vibrator trucks operating between Croydon and Georgetown, northwest Queensland.

An outline of the five-year Onshore Energy Security Program (OESP) was reported on in AusGeo News 86. Regular updates are now available through Geoscience Australia’s website, which contains information on the Program, summaries of current and planned surveys, and recent presentations. Web pages for individual OESP projects are being developed with the Geothermal Energy Project being the first to be posted. The Program’s Five-Year Plan (2006-2011), which is included on the site provides further information on the Program’s objectives, outputs and planned activities for the national and regional projects. All new data releases for the OESP will be announced through Geoscience Australia’s monthly Minerals Alert.

Background and more detailed information, including area maps, on the following geophysical surveys are included in AusGeo News 86 and on the Geoscience Australia website.

Figure 2. Seismic vibrator trucks operating between Croydon and Georgetown, northwest Queensland. (Larger image [JPG 703.1kb])

Fig 3. Flight-line pattern for the AWAGS2 magnetics and radiometrics survey showing progress to 1 August 2007.

Completed Geophysical surveys

The gravity survey over parts of the Cooper Basin in southwest Queensland was completed in late May 2007. The data acquired will assist the assessment of hydrocarbon potential of the region as well as identification of granites with possible geothermal energy potential in areas beneath the basin.

Acquisition of infill aeromagnetic data in areas of the Canning Basin, including the Kidson Sub-basin of northern Western Australia, has also been completed. This data will contribute to understanding of the structure of the basin and its hydrocarbon potential and facilitate planning of a future seismic survey.

Geophysical surveys in progress

Processing of deep seismic data from the Mt Isa region of Queensland is progressing, with interpreted results scheduled for release in early 2008. The seismic lines imaged crustal structure in parts of the Eastern Succession, a region rich in copper, gold, silver, and lead which is also emerging as an important uranium province.

Figure 3. Flight-line pattern for the AWAGS2 magnetic and radiometrics survey showing progress to 1 August 2007. (Larger image [GIF 468.8kb])

The first of three deep crustal seismic lines between the Cloncurry area and the Croydon-Georgetown area was completed in June 2007 (figure 2).

The Australia-wide airborne geophysical tie-line survey (AWAGS2), which began in March 2007, continues to acquire radiometric and magnetic tie-line data to develop a new datum for re-levelling of previous airborne radiometric and magnetic surveys. The survey is progressing to schedule and is more than 50 per cent complete (figure 3).

For more information phone Bill McKay on +61 2 6249 9003 (email

Related websites/articles

Onshore Energy Security Program takes off (AusGeo News 86)

Onshore Energy Security Program

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