Perth Petroleum Project

Overview

The Perth Petroleum Project involves basement, basin and petroleum systems studies of the southwest continental margin, within Australia's Marine Jurisdiction. The focus of the project is developing tectono-stratigraphic, structural and petroleum system framework studies for the offshore northern Perth Basin to promote new exploration opportunities in this basin. More broadly, the project aims to improve our understanding of the geology and petroleum prospectivity of the Mentelle, Perth and Southern Carnarvon Basins and the Wallaby Plateau. This improved knowledge will help to maximise opportunities for the discovery of a new oil and gas province as well as underpin promotion of selected areas for petroleum exploration via acreage release and reduce exploration risk through the provision of new data and interpretive information. The Perth Petroleum Project represents the continuation of the Southwest Frontiers Project, which was part of the Offshore Energy Security Program.

Status

The project is focussed on:

  • Provision of technical advice on the petroleum potential of the offshore southwest Australian margin to the Australian Government and industry, primarily to support the 2011 acreage release in the Perth Basin 
  • Investigating the basement and structural architecture of the offshore northern Perth Basin, primarily the nature of basement, evolution of the margin, and trap integrity
  • Investigating natural hydrocarbon migration and seepage and the benthic habitats of the offshore northern Perth Basin through a marine survey.

Achievements to Date

Marine Surveys

Between October 2008 and February 2009, Geoscience Australia undertook two major marine surveys to investigate the resource potential of deep-water frontier areas on the southwest margin. Previous reports of these surveys can be found in AusGeo News, 86.

Location of Offshore Petroleum Acreage Release Area W11-18, offshore northern Perth Basin, including key wells and adjacent oil and gas fields and infrastructure 

Location of Offshore Petroleum
Acreage Release Area W11-18,
offshore northern Perth Basin,
including key wells and adjacent
oil and gas fields and infrastructure
© Geoscience Australia.

In September-October 2011 a Marine National Facility Survey to the offshore northern Perth Basin tested potential sites of natural hydrocarbon seepage as a means of investigating recent hydrocarbon generation and migration. Brief news items regarding this survey can be found in AusGeo News 103.

Southwest Australian Margin Regional Marine 2D Seismic Survey (S310)

Areas covered by the new seismic data include the Mentelle Basin, North Perth Basin (Zeewyck and Houtman Sub-basins), Southern Carnarvon Basin and the Wallaby Plateau.

  • 7300 kilometres of 2D seismic
  • 12 second record length
  • Eight kilometre solid streamer
  • Gravity and magnetic data.

In addition to the new seismic reflection data, Geoscience Australia has reprocessed selected open-file industry seismic lines in the offshore Northern Perth Basin (11 700 line kilometres) which provides ties to most wells in the Abrolhos and Houtman sub-basins.

Southwest Australian Margin Marine Reconnaissance Survey (GA2476)

The marine reconnaissance survey investigated the geology and marine environments of the offshore North Perth and Southern Carnarvon Basins and the Wallaby Plateau.

  • Multibeam swath bathymetry (230 000 square kilometres)
  • Gravity and Magnetics (25 000 line kilometres)
  • Sub-bottom profiler (25 000 line kilometres)
  • Geological samples 190 rocks from 53 dredge sites.

The results of the Marine Reconnaissance Survey in the report 'Frontier basins of the west Australian continental margin: post-survey report of marine reconnaissance and geological sampling survey GA2476'.

Southwest Margin Data Package

Seismic, gravity and magnetic data from both surveys (S310 and GA2476 above), together with the reprocessed industry seismic data, is available for purchase. Further details on the data package and how to purchase it can be found in the Southwest Margin Data Package information sheet and order form.

Hydrocarbon Seepage Survey of the Offshore Northern Perth Basin (GA0332)

The Marine National Facility Survey investigated and sampled potential natural hydrocarbon seepage sites in the offshore northern Perth Basin, and included the first deployment of a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) for this type of research in Australian waters.

  • Multibeam swath bathymetry (3500 square kilometres)
  • Sub-bottom profiler (4000 line kilometres)
  • Side-scan sonar (1500 line kilometres)
  • Seabed sediment samples from 100 sites
  • Nine ROV deployements.

Acoustic data acquired on this survey demonstrate pockmarks on the seabed and ‘flares’ in the water column. Carbonate blocks and other interesting features were observed in this area with the ROV (see videos below). Integration of these datasets is analogous with known natural hydrocarbon seepage in the Timor Sea.

 

You need a current version of the Flash player and javascript enabled to view this video.

(UTC) at -27.3510S/112.7661E in 545 m water depth,
showing a dark fluid on the seabed. Laser points 10 cm apart.

Video File Size: 10.7MB, 3:00 Minutes

© Geoscience Australia

You need a current version of the Flash player and javascript enabled to view this video.

ROV footage acquired at 08:57 (UTC) at -27.3507S/112.7678E in 544 m water depth,
showing a dark fluid in the water column. Laser points 10 cm apart.

Video File Size: 2.1MB, 0:33 Minutes

© Geoscience Australia

You need a current version of the Flash player and javascript enabled to view this video.

Black and white ROV footage acquired at 08:57 08/10/2011 (UTC) at -27.3507S/112.7678E in 544 m water depth,
showing a dark fluid in the water column. Laser points 10 cm apart.

Video File Size: 1.9MB, 0:33 Minutes

© Geoscience Australia

Topic contact: petroleum@ga.gov.au Last updated: October 4, 2013