Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics

Barrow Sub-basin

View full size

Release Areas – W14-14, W14-15, W14-16 and W14-21

Work program bids (W14-14, W14-15, W14-16) close 2 October 2014

Cash bids (W14-21) close 30 October 2013 (Prequalification) and 5 February 2015 (Auction)


  • Within one of Australia’s premier offshore producing basins
  • Proximal to Barrow Island facilities
  • Shallow water depths, <50–150 m
  • Oil-prone Upper Jurassic and gas-prone Triassic to Middle Jurassic source rocks
  • Proven multi-level structural and stratigraphic plays in Triassic, Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous strata
  • Special Notices apply; refer to Guidance Notes

Release Area W14-14 is in the northern Barrow Basin, overlapping the far western Dampier Sub-basin near the Rankin Platform. It is in the vicinity of the West Tryal Rocks and John Brookes gas accumulations, approximately 40 km north northwest of Barrow Island and 145 km north of Onslow. Release Area W14-15 is 7 km northwest of Barrow Island and 100 km north of Onslow, in the vicinity of the Barrow Island oil accumulation and the Maitland, John Brookes and East Spar gas accumulations. Release Area W14-16 is in the western Barrow Sub-basin and, at its closest, is 68 km north northwest of Onslow, between the Woollybutt and Chinook/Scindian oil and gas accumulations.

Release Area W14-21 is a single graticular block adjacent to mature production areas and known accumulations. Located southwest of the East Spar gas accumulation, 90 km north of Onslow, this Release Area is considered mature in exploration status and is available for cash bidding.

The Barrow Sub-basin contains a Mesozoic to Cenozoic sedimentary succession, with maximum thicknesses of 10–20 km. The region offers proven petroleum systems of Late Triassic, Middle–Late Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous age. Oil and gas accumulations exist within this sub-basin, offering a range of play types to be targeted. Gas is sourced from Triassic to Middle Jurassic fluvio-deltaic rocks of the Mungaroo and Brigadier formations, Murat Siltstone, and Athol and Legendre formations. Oil is sourced from the Upper Jurassic Dingo Claystone. Structural plays include tilted fault blocks and rollovers, anticlines and drapes, and horsts. Stratigraphic plays include pinch-outs, unconformity traps and transgressive sandstone packages at the base of the Locker Shale. The region contains existing infrastructure that will facilitate further development.

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

Note: Due to the complexity of these figures no alternative descriptions have been provided.
Please email Geoscience Australia at feedback@ga.gov.au for alternate descriptions.