Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics

Vulcan Sub-basin

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Release Area – AC14-1

Work program bids close 2 April 2015


  • Adjacent to proven oil-producing province
  • Development planned for nearby Cash/Maple gas accumulation
  • Shallow to deep water depths, 50–500 m
  • Release Area flanks Jurassic depocentre with oil- and gas-prone source rocks
  • Potential for structural and stratigraphic plays in Jurassic–Triassic, Cretaceous and Paleogene sandstones
  • Special Notices apply, refer to Guidance Notes

Release Area AC14-1 is located in the western Bonaparte Basin in the Timor Sea approximately 300 km offshore and 650 km from Darwin. It overlaps the western Vulcan Sub-basin and the northeastern Ashmore Platform.

The Vulcan Sub-basin is a northeast-oriented Mesozoic extensional depocentre in the western part of the Bonaparte Basin. The sub-basin is flanked by the Permo–Triassic platforms of the Ashmore Platform and the Londonderry High. The Vulcan Sub-basin is a proven Jurassic hydrocarbon province containing depleted oil fields, the producing Montara oil field, and the Cash/Maple gas accumulation which is currently under development. Upper Jurassic fan delta/submarine fan and Upper Cretaceous submarine fan sandstones are proven exploration targets. Structural traps containing Triassic to Jurassic reservoir sandstones are sealed by Lower Cretaceous claystones. On the Ashmore Platform, up to 1500 m of flat-lying Cretaceous and Cenozoic strata overlie up to 4500 m of heavily faulted and folded Permo-Triassic sediments. Exploration of the Ashmore Platform has focused on Cretaceous and Triassic reservoirs and hydrocarbons sourced from the adjacent Vulcan Sub-basin. However, Miocene and Lower Cretaceous reef structures, and Permo-Triassic and Lower Cretaceous equivalents of proven source rocks in other areas of the Bonaparte Basin and Caswell Sub-basin could represent elements of a petroleum system indigenous to the Ashmore Platform.

Related documents
Document Title PDF Other Format
Release Area Map – Vulcan Sub-basin PDF JPG
Geology – Vulcan Sub-basin PDF DOC
Data Listing – Vulcan Sub-basin   XLS
Block Listing and Block Diagram – Vulcan Sub-basin PDF DOC
Regional Geology – Bonaparte Basin PDF DOC
Bidding for an exploration permit   DOC
2014 Special Notices   DOC

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