Kidson Sub-Basin Prospectivity

The onshore Canning Basin is a large, predominantly Palaeozoic basin which has minor oil and gas production. Despite widespread shows in different geological settings that indicate that there are at least four active petroleum systems, the basin is significantly underexplored for hydrocarbon resources. Indeed, the Canning Basin is amongst the least explored Palaeozoic basins in the world. Further exploration is warranted given:

— the paucity of drilled wells (only four wells/10,000 km2, compared with similar basins in North America with 500 wells/10,000 km2)

— the small number of valid structural tests

— the propensity for giant/supergiant oil and gas fields in reservoirs similar to the Canning Basin, elsewhere in the world.

A review of existing Canning Basin data by Geoscience Australia identified a significant seismic data gap across the Kidson Sub-basin.

The United States Energy Information Agency (US EIA) reported in 2013 that the Canning Basin has the largest shale gas potential in Australia (eighth largest in the world). The Agency estimated the Goldwyer Shale in the Canning Basin to contain technically recoverable shale gas of 235 trillion cubic

In order to address the seismic coverage gap, a new reflection seismic line (18GA-KB1), imaging the Kidson Sub-basin was acquired. The project was administered by Geoscience Australia, under the EFTF program (with co-funding from DMIRS). Data acquisition was completed by Geokinetics Pty Ltd using an array of three Inova AHV-IV PLS364 (62 000 lb) Vibroseis vehicles, configured to image the entire crustal thickness.

The acquisition of seismic reflection data in the Kidson Sub-basin between the Kiwirrkurra community and Marble Bar in northern Western Australia was a major EFTF objective. Acquisition of the data was completed in August 2018.

Prior to this survey, the Kidson Sub-basin contained only sparse seismic coverage with the most recent surveys acquired in the late 1980s.

The new reflection seismic line images the major subdivisions of the Canning Basin including the Kidson Sub-basin amongst others. The primary objectives of the seismic line were:

— establish the subsurface geology and stratigraphy of the Kidson Sub-basin

— determine the extent and nature of embayments and troughs and their relationship with adjacent basin systems

— identify regional faults, folds and other structural elements controlling basin evolution

— determine the extent of major geological elements and the location and nature of their boundaries.

The Kidson seismic reflection line will accelerate the understanding of the region's geological evolution and identify geological terrains with greater resource potential. Preliminary results show the data are of excellent quality and image a variety of previously unknown features.

For more information on the outcome from this study, you can find them in our return on investment report.