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Lease Holder ARAFURA OIL PTY LTD
Lease No EPA212 Area 11,890 km2 Graben, indicates the basin has potential for hosting hydrocarbon accumulations , particularly oil. Whilst the company accepts the commonly held view, that in conventional terms, the offshore Goulburn Graben, the depocentre of the basin, is the most prospective sector of the Arafura Basin, it considers that the peripheral areas of the basin also hold less obvious but none the less real hydrocarbon potential. This is particularly so in the southern area which is adjacent to the depocentre and appears to be on a direct and unhindered migration pathway from the hydrocarbon generative Goulburn Graben. Exploration drilling, often ill-focused, in the Goulburn Graben has encountered many hydrocarbon shows . In one well, Arafura 1, these shows extended over 1000 feet. Good oil shows are also reported from Goulburn 1, Tasman 1, Kulka 1 and Lyndoch 1, located adjacent to the basin in the Bonaparte Basin, amongst others. These oil shows appear to be residual and the section penetrated in the graben seems to lack seals, often through erosionor fault reactivation and/or a lack of seal competency. Much oil has escaped from the highly structured Goulburn Graben into the overlying upper Arafura Basin sequence and even into the overlying Mesozoic aged Money Shoals Basin sequence. Both the upper Arafura and Money Shoals Basins are in general unstructured and any escaping oil could have reached the basin edge, in the case of the Arafura Basin, the onshore sector. There are anecdotal reports oil strandings on Elcho Island. The shortest migration pathway for oil escaping the Goulburn Graben is to the south to the onshore sector of the basin. A stratigraphic drilling program should be undertaken in this region to determine the thickness of sedimentary section as a precursor to gravity and aeromagnetic surveying. Following these investigations a regional seismic recording program should be undertaken. It is our view any basin which contains rich and mature source rocks is prospective. These conditions have been confirmed by the very limited studies conducted on samples from wells located in the offshore sector of the Arafura Basin, and empirically by oil shows in drilling operations. Furthermore we believe that oil is as likely to be trapped stratigraphically as structurally. This is particularly the case in sedimentary section which is relatively structurally undeformed. It is known that much oil has been generated in, and escaped from, the Goulburn Graben and this oil has not reached the surface in oil seeps, hence it would appear that it is still trapped within the upper Arafura Basin sequence. These observations, along with the known geometry of the basin, where the southern portion of the basin is located on an unhindered migration pathway from the hydrocarbon generative kitchen in the Goulburn Graben indicates that the onshore sector of the Arafura Basin exhibits hydrocarbon exploration potential and warrants evaluation. It should be noted that there has been no intentional search for stratigraphic traps in Australia, even though many such traps are known overseas. In fact the largest oil field in the continental USA, the giant East Texas Pool is a stratigraphically trapped accumulation. Furthermore it was discovered in an area which was considered, by the industry, to have low prospectivity as the seismic data acquired there indicated that no structural traps were present.
Arafura Oil Pty Ltd hold views which run counter to the generally held industry view that the onshore sector of the Arafura Basin is of very low hydrocarbon prospectivity. No commercial exploration has been undertaken in the onshore sector of the basin, neither has any stratigraphic drilling been conducted in the same sector of the basin. Hence no real hard data exists to evaluate the hydrocarbon potential of the onshore sector of the basin. However limited stratigraphic drilling was conducted by the Bureau of Mineral Resources Geology and Geophysics (BMR) as part of its historic, post World War 2 Northern Australian Mapping Project in the adjacent but younger aged onshore sector of the Money Shoals Basin. The Mesozoic aged Money Shoals Basin unconformably overlies the older Paleozoic Arafura Basin, offshore of the northern coast of the NT. These basins seem to be in hydraulic communication and are often considered as a conjugate pair as is the case of the Surat and Bowen basins of eastern Australia and the Cooper and Eromanga Basins of central Australia. The basin has many similarities, particularly in terms of age, source rock provenance, richness and maturity, with the similarly aged Amadeus Basin, which is oil and gas productive at Meerenie and Palm Valley. It also has similarities with the productive Canning Basin of WA as well as the prolific Bonaparte Basin of northwestern Australia. The exploration drilling that has been done in the basin, which is concentrated in the offshore sector of the basin in the Goulburn
Australian Oil & Gas Ltd
Project: Arafura Basin
Arafura Oil Pty Ltd’s expected targets will also be of a structural nature. our exploration program will begin with slim hole stratigraphic drilling and geological and geophysical studies to obtain a detailed understanding of the area.65% »» Middle Devonian age with Total Organic Content of up to 3. The first round of seismic recording will be regional in nature and the subsequent round of seismic acquisition will then detail anomalies identified by the regional seismic data. As “basement cored” structural traps near the basin margin are bound to be unearthed by seismic surveys. The thinner sedimentary section present in the areas of application does not necessarily downgrade the area’s prospectivity. if long distance migration has occurred.86% »» Late Carboniferous age with Total Organic Content of up to 1. The remaining program will be heavily biased towards seismic recording. They have high algal content and very high hydrogen indices. its geology and more importantly its hydrocarbon potential. with regional and then detail data being acquired. This will be followed a gravity and aeromagnetic surveys. prone and they are known from analytical studies to be in the oil window. so the thinner section in the south of the basin may not be the impediment to hosting oil as is the generally held view. Whilst not as rich a source rock as the Cambrian units the Middle Devonian rocks are still very rich source rocks and the comments above apply equally to the Devonian source rocks. oils reservoired in the Mesozoic Eromanga Basin sequence in the Tintaburra.09% As is the case for all Cambrian source rocks in Northern Australia these rocks in the Goulburn Graben are extremely rich. This condition is believed to be met. This program will give us a better understanding of this frontier basin. If this so this may not be a bad thing. Even the small oil accumulation discovered at Rough Range 1 in the Carnarvon Basin of WA has migrated a large distance in a marginward direction. a case in point is the Taylor Oil Field. to the east of the field. in the Eromanga area of western Queensland are known to have migrated a distance of approximately 175 kms from the Permian aged depocentres of the Cooper Basin. That is they don’t require as deep depth of burial. The reservoir sections intersected to date are of a PETROLEUM GEOLOGY The necessary and sufficient conditions for a petroleum accumulation appear to be present in the Arafura Basin namely: The presence of rich and mature source rocks. Stratigraphic pinchouts and basement cored structures are expected to be the initial exploration targets. As a consequence of the virtually unexplored status of the basin. This condition appears to be met in the:»» Cambrian aged carbonate reservoirs »» Ordovician aged dolomitic carbonate reservoirs »» Lower Devonian aged karstic carbonate reservoirs »» Lower Devonian sandstone reservoirs »» Middle Devonian oolitic calcareous sandstone reservoirs »» Carboniferous aged sandstone reservoirs As can be seen both carbonate and clastic reservoir section has been recognized in the Goulburn Graben. Talgeberry and Kenmore Oil Fields. hence they are oil Australian Oil & Gas Ltd Project: Arafura Basin 15 . In the final year the best prospect will then be drilled to begin the evaluation of the basin. The Carboniferous rocks whilst mature are believed to be in the gas window. Furthermore they begin to generate hydrocarbons at lower temperatures and pressures than do terrestrial source rocks. The oil present in the Hutton Sandstone and other Mesozoic reservoirs at the Inland Oil Field in the Morney area of western Queensland has migrated at least 80 kms from the nearest source rocks. amongst others. Several gas fields on the Roma Shelf of Queensland are known to have combined structural/ stratigraphic trapping mechanisms. by the rich mature and oil prone sediments of :»» Middle Cambrian age with Total Organic Content of up to 8.Darwin N Northern Territory QLD WA SA Perth Adelaide Brisbane NSW Sydney VIC Melbourne TAS Several oil pools in the Surat/Bowen Basin Complex are now known to be stratigraphically trapped oil accumulations. rocks of similar composition and of lower Total Carbon Content (TOC) are acknowledged as the source of oil in some of China’s major oilfields. It should be noted that marine source rocks are richer and more oil prone than terrestrial source rocks. Such oil could be onshore The presence of porous and permeable reservoir and carrier beds. Whilst the potential Ordovician source rocks are not considered source rocks in the Arafura Basin. as any late generated gas that may have spilt earlier generated and reservoired oil updip towards the basin margin as stated in Gussow’s Theory. It should also be noted that oil has been discovered in similar aged rocks in Oklahoma at depths as shallow as 300 metres. particularly in the deep Goulburn Graben. Hence oil could have migrated large distances from the Goulburn Graben to the southern margin of the basin. Long distance migration of hydrocarbons is well documented . Very little is really known about the basin.
in terms of both porosity and permeability. As most source rocks are fine grained and impermeable shales can act as both a source and a seal. in the higher energy environment near the basin margin. The basin depocentre. It is the company’s view that stratigraphic trapping geometry will be the key to discovering hydrocarbons in this basin. or before the time of the phase of bulk hydrocarbon generation and subsequent migration. 16 Australian Oil & Gas Ltd Project: Arafura Basin . would have predated the re-migration of oil. which obviously has generated hydrocarbons. The structural evolution of the Arafura Basin is very complex and is not well understood. the Goulburn Graben. The section in the Goulburn Graben has many unconformities and many faults appear to have been reactivated episodically. hence previously reservoired oil could have been re-migrated over time. This appropriate timing of trap formation applies equally to structural or stratigraphic traps. the productive Bonaparte Basin The structural evolution of the basin away from the Goulburn Graben is really unknown as the little seismic acquired shows a relatively unstructured section. The Raiwalla Shale of the Cambrian Wessel Group which is in outcrop on Elcho Island shows this juxtaposition of reservoir and source. This would mean that traps. generally fine grained shales overlying or isolating porous reservoir beds. or a combination of both. the ideal arrangement. appears to have had a similar genesis to. and contains a similar sequence to. of both a structural and stratigraphic nature.reasonable quality. Again this condition appears to have been met for all of the postulated source/reservoir couplets. as late as the Mesozoic. both structural and r stratigraphic. A geological sequence of potential source beds juxtaposed with reservoirs in the fluvial-tidal and shallow marine depositional environment is very favourable for the formation of trapping geometry. The presence of impermeable sealing units. This condition appears to be met by: »» Cambrian aged shales »» Ordovician aged shales »» Devonian aged shales »» Carboniferous aged shales Many competent sealing shales are recognized in the Arafura Basin sequence. Some fine grained limestones may also act as seals The presence of traps at. However this could be expected to improve.
880 sq km ARAFURA OIL PTY LTD EP Application – 11.Arafura Basin Exploration Permit MAY 2011 N EP 212 11.880 sq km Australian Oil & Gas Ltd Project: Arafura Basin 17 .