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AusGeo News  June 2009  Issue No. 94

Welcome to AusGeo News 94

This issue of AusGeo News features several articles relating to the recently completed geophysical and sampling surveys in offshore frontier basins along the southwest margin of Western Australia. These surveys are major outputs of Geoscience Australia's Offshore Energy Security Program. Data acquired will be used to assess the petroleum potential of these frontier areas and underpin future acreage release, and contribute to the management of marine habitats.

The sampling program covered a vast area from the Perth Canyon in the south to the Exmouth Plateau in the north. The report on the Wallaby Plateau leg of the marine reconnaissance survey provides details of the bathymetry of the area and the geological samples collected during the survey.

Details of the exploration areas being offered in the 2009 release of Offshore Acreage for petroleum exploration are also included in this issue. The North West Shelf features prominently in this year's release. Some areas being offered are close to existing production areas in the Bonaparte, Browse, and Carnarvon Basins. Other areas are frontier exploration areas along the Ceduna Sub-basin (Bight Basin) and in the Otway Basin. The first offshore acreage release for the geological storage of greenhouse gas took place earlier this year and details are included in this issue.

The update on the Onshore Energy Security Program reports on the current surveys including the seismic survey in South Australia, the airborne electromagnetic survey in the Northern Territory and the National Geochemical Survey of Australia. It also includes updates on the processing of data acquired during earlier surveys undertaken as part of the Program.

Much of our mineral wealth has historically been derived from deposits relating to the Phanerozoic rocks of eastern Australia. The article on the Phanerozoic Project outlines the approach taken in a geodynamic synthesis of eastern Australia to assist mineral explorers in selecting potential areas to prospect for accessible economic mineral reserves.

There is also a report on Geoscience Australia's contribution to the emergency response during the tragic Victorian bushfires earlier this year.

We always 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

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