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AusGeo News  June 2008  Issue No. 90

Welcome to AusGeo News 90

The United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf has confirmed the location of the outer limit of Australia’s continental shelf in nine distinct marine regions, which entitles Australia to an additional 2.5 million square kilometres of continental shelf beyond the 200 nautical miles limit. For Geoscience Australia’s Law of the Sea and Maritime Boundaries Advice project this confirmation is the culmination of 15 years of cutting edge work and I would like to recognise the dedication and ongoing commitment shown by the project team.

This issue includes an outline of our forward program of offshore frontier basin research to identify a new oil province. The Offshore Energy Security Program will focus on the Remote Eastern Frontiers, including the Capel and Faust basins (see AusGeo News 89), the Southwest Margin, including the Mentelle Basin and sub-basins of the North Perth Basin and southern Carnarvon Basin, and the Southern Margin including the Bass and Sorell Basins and the Bight Basin. The other major research effort will be the development of petroleum systems models for the ‘Producing regions’ of the North West Shelf.

The update on the Onshore Energy Security Program reports on the deep crustal seismic reflection survey in the Darling Basin conducted in conjunction with the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries. The article also reports on scheduled surveys in South Australia and the Northern Territory and progress of the National Geochemical Survey of Australia.

This years’ release of Offshore Acreage for petroleum exploration includes areas which cover a wide range in size, water depth and exploration maturity. The article on the 2008 Release includes details of the release areas which provide investment opportunities suited to both large and small investors. Geoscience Australia has provided a number of data packages to assist explorers in reviewing potential acreage as well as the Acreage Release Data Room at our Symonston ACT headquarters.

With increasing recognition that disasters erode hard-won development gains, international policymakers have focussed on disaster risk reduction. The article on Geoscience Australia’s contributions to Australia’s international aid program outline the natural hazard risk assessments used to identify areas and countries in the Asia-Pacific region at high risk from one or more natural hazards.

There is also a report on the launch of Geoscience Australia’s sensitive high resolution ion microprobe (SHRIMP) by the Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism, the Hon. Martin Ferguson AM MP on 1 April. This in-house facility will significantly increase the amount of high-quality data about the age of Australian rocks for resources exploration companies, government geoscience agencies and researchers.

New products reported on include: new gravity data covering the Charters Towers region in Queensland and a report on the geology of the Lake Violet sheet area in the northern part of Western Australia’s Yilgarn Craton produced in association with the Geological Survey of Western Australia.

As always we appreciate your feedback and encourage you to use the online rating mechanism with each article.

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Dr Neil Williams

CEO Geoscience Australia

Unless otherwise noted, all Geoscience Australia material on this website is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence.