Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release 2013

Northern Petrel Sub-basin

Location of the 2013 Release Areas NT13-1, NT13-2 and NT13-3 in the Northern Petrel Sub-basin of the Bonaparte Basin.

Release Areas – NT13-1, NT13-2 and NT13-3

Bids close – 22 May 2014


  • Under-explored gas province, with potential charge from Paleozoic and Mesozoic sources
  • Shallow water depths, 40–200 m
  • Close to the Evans Shoal, Greater Sunrise, Caldita and Barossa gas fields, and Darwin (Wickham Point) LNG plant supplied by the Bayu–Undan gas pipeline
  • Faulted anticlines, tilted fault blocks and stratigraphic traps
  • Special Notices apply, refer to Guidance Notes

Release Areas NT13-1, NT13-2 and NT13-3 are located in the northeastern Bonaparte Basin in the Timor Sea. Release Areas NT13-1 and NT13-2 are in the Malita Graben, with NT13-1 also partly overlapping the Darwin Shelf. Release Area NT13-3 is mostly situated in the northern Petrel Sub-basin. Release Areas NT13-1 and NT13-2 are located entirely within a marine reserve Multiple Use Zone (IUCN VI) and NT13-3 is located partly within this marine reserve; for further information refer to Special Notices.

The Malita Graben is a northeast-trending dominantly Mesozoic–Cenozoic depocentre in the northern Bonaparte Basin that lies between the Sahul Platform to the north and the Petrel Sub-basin and Darwin Shelf to the south. The active petroleum system in the region of the Release Areas has been defined as the Jurassic Plover-Plover Petroleum System (Barrett et al, 2004). The active source pod within the Plover Formation is interpreted to extend throughout the Malita Graben and onto the marginal areas of the Sahul Platform (Heron Terrace). Modelling suggests it is gas-prone with moderate liquids, but with little or no oil potential. The southern part of Release Area NT13-3 falls within the gas-prone Permian Hyland Bay/Keyling-Hyland Bay Petroleum System. The main structural plays are broad faulted anticlinal structures over tilted fault blocks at the base of the regional seal. Tilted horst blocks are attractive targets on faulted terraces and stratigraphic traps include pinch-outs and truncations across unconformities. Expanding infrastructure in the region will facilitate development of new discoveries.

Related documents
Document TitlePDFOther Format
Release Area Map – Northern Petrel Sub-basin PDF JPG
Geology – Northern Petrel Sub-basin PDF DOC
Data Listing – Northern Petrel Sub-basin PDF XLS
Block Listing – Northern Petrel Sub-basin PDF DOC
Block Diagram – Northern Petrel Sub-basin PDF JPG
Regional Geology – Bonaparte Basin PDF DOC
Further information on bidding and assessment PDF DOC
2013 Acreage Release Special Notices PDF DOC

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