Northern Caswell Sub-basin
Bids close 29 October 2015
- On trend with the Calliance, Brecknock, Torosa and Crown/Proteus gas fields
- Close to Ichthys Gas Pipeline to Bladin Point, Darwin (currently under construction)
- Shallow to deep water depths, 350–500 m
- Thick Jurassic–Lower Cretaceous mature source rocks
- Tilted Permo-Triassic and Jurassic fault blocks, and fluvio-deltaic to marine fan sands with Cretaceous seal
- Special Notices apply, refer to Guidance Notes
Release Area AC15-3 is located in the northern Caswell Sub-basin, approximately 250 km from the northeast coast of Western Australia (Figure 1). The area consists of 26 graticular blocks in waters 350–500 m deep and includes the Phrixus 1 well, which resulted in oil and gas shows from the Bassett and upper Jamieson formations, respectively (Figure 2). The presence of gas in the nearby Abalone 1 and Abalone Deep 1 wells in the Puffin, Gibson, lower Jamison and Echuca Shoals formations (Figure 2) indicate that an extension of the Calliance, Brecknock, Torosa and Crown/Proteus trend may extend across Release Area AC15-3.
A diverse range of undrilled structures may be prospective in the Release Area. The dominant fault styles in the region are horsts and tilted fault blocks (Figure 3), where potential reservoirs include the Upper Triassic Nome Formation, the Jurassic Plover and Montara formations, the Upper Jurassic–Lower Cretaceous Vulcan and Echuca Shoals formations and, in some locations, the Upper Cretaceous Puffin Formation (Figure 2). 3D seismic data is available across the Release Area, although the region is relatively underexplored compared to the neighbouring Vulcan Sub-basin (Figure 4). Multiple construction activities are in progress in the basin, including Prelude FLNG, the Ichthys LNG Project and gas pipeline, Browse FLNG and Crux.
Petroleum systems elements
Northern Caswell Sub-basin
Infrastructure and markets
There are four gas developments at various stages of implementation in the Browse Basin, with two LNG projects in the northern Caswell Sub-basin. The Ichthys gas pipeline is currently under construction and will come within 70 km of the Release Area. First gas from the Ichthys accumulation is planned to come online by 2017. Prelude FLNG, encompassing the Prelude and Concerto accumulations in WA-44-L, is expected to produce LNG in 2016.
Effective migration pathways from adjacent and underlying mature source rocks have been a limitation for some of the wells adjacent to the Release Area. Trap integrity is a risk due to fault reactivation during the late Miocene–Pliocene. The primary cause of failure for the Phrixus 1 well, drilled within the Release Area, was interpreted to be the absence of a sandstone reservoir in the Puffin Formation. However, the presence of gas saturated sandstones within the Puffin Formation in the nearby Abalone 1 well, necessitates the detailed mapping of these fan sandstones within the region.
Wells Data and Seismic Survey listings for the northern Caswell Sub-basin are available on the Supporting Information page.
Geoscience Australia products
Regional geology and seismic
- Browse Basin High Resolution Seismic Study – North West Shelf, Australia – Interpretation Report. Australian Geological Survey Organisation Record 1997/38 by Blevin et al. 1997.
- Browse Basin Well Composites. Dataset by Ryan et al. 2005.
- Basement and Crustal Structure of the Bonaparte - Browse Basins. Conference abstract by Goncharov et al. 2003.
- Interpreted Horizons and Faults for Seismic Survey 119. Browse Basin. Data package by Kennard et al. 2001.
- Interpreted Horizons and Faults for Seismic Survey 130. Browse Basin. Data package by Kennard et al. 2001.
- Line Drawings of AGSO – Geoscience Australia’s Regional Seismic Profiles, Offshore Northern and Northwestern Australia. Geoscience Australia Record 2001/36 by Colwell and Kennard 2001.
- Browse Basin Biozonation and Biostratigraphy Chart 32. Chart by Kelman et al. 2014.
Petroleum systems and accumulations
- Hydrocarbon Migration and Seepage in the Timor Sea and Browse Basin, North West Shelf, Australia: An Integrated SAR, Geological and Geochemical Study. Geoscience Australia Record 2001/11 by O’Brien et al. 2000.
- Bonaparte Basin, Northern Territory (NT), Western Australia (WA), Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands Adjacent Area (AC), Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA), Australian Petroleum Accumulations Report 5, 2nd Edition. Publication by Cadman and Temple 2004.
- Browse Basin, Australian Petroleum Accumulations Report 7, 2nd Edition. Publication by Le Poidevin et al. 2014.
- Characterisation of Natural Gases from West Australian Basins. Publication by Boreham et al. 2012.
- Ashmore-Cartier Prospectivity Package: An Analysis of the Petroleum Prospectivity of Vacant Areas Overlying the Ashmore Platform, Vulcan Sub-basin, Jabiru Terrace and Northern Browse Basin. Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and Geophysics Record 1991/90 by Lavering, 1991.
- Browse Basin Organic Geochemistry Study, North West Shelf, Australia. Australian Geological Survey Organisation Record 1997/57 by Boreham et al. 1998.
- Subsidence and Thermal History Modelling: New Insights into Hydrocarbon Expulsion from Multiple Petroleum Systems in the Browse Basin. Conference abstract by Kennard et al. 2003.
- Hydrocarbon Generation and Expulsion from Early Cretaceous Source Rocks in the Browse Basin, North West Shelf, Australia: A Small Angle Neutron Scattering and Pyrolysis Study. Geoscience Australia Record 2007/04 by Radlinski et al. 2006.
- Source Rock Time Slice Maps: Offshore Northwest Australia, 2004. Dataset by West et al. 2004.
- The Oils of Western Australia II. Publication by Edwards and Zumberge 2005.
Search for these and other Geoscience Australia reports and products at www.ga.gov.au/search
Contact Geoscience Australia’s Sales Centre for more information: phone +61 (0)2 6249 9966, email firstname.lastname@example.org
AGSO, 2001—Line drawings of AGSO – Geoscience Australia’s Regional Seismic Profiles, Offshore Northern and Northwestern Australia. Australian Geological Survey Organisation Record, 2001/36, 174pp.
AGSO BROWSE BASIN PROJECT TEAM, 1997—Browse Basin High Resolution Study, Interpretation Report, North West Shelf, Australia. Australian Geological Survey Organisation Record, 1997/38.
BAN, S. AND PITT, G., 2006—The Ichthys giant gas-condensate field. 2006 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, 5–8 November, Perth, Australia, Abstract.
BENSON, J.M., BREALEY, S.J., LUXTON, C.W., WALSHE, P.F. AND TUPPER, N.P., 2004—Late Cretaceous ponded turbidite systems: a new stratigraphic play fairway in the Browse Basin. The APPEA Journal, 44(1), 269–285.
BLEVIN, J.E., BOREHAM, C.J., SUMMONS, R.E., STRUCKMEYER, H.I.M. AND LOUTIT, T.S., 1998—An effective Lower Cretaceous petroleum system on the North West Shelf: evidence from the Browse Basin. In: Purcell, P.G. and R.R. (eds), 1998, The Sedimentary Basins of Western Australia 2: Proceedings of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia Symposium, Perth, WA, 1998, 397–420.
BLEVIN, J.E., STRUCKMEYER, H.I.M., CATHRO, D.L., TOTTERDELL, J.M., BOREHAM, C.J., ROMINE, K.K., LOUTIT, T.S. AND SAYERS, J., 1998—Tectonostratigraphic framework and petroleum systems of the Browse Basin, North West Shelf. In: Purcell, P.G. and R.R. (eds), 1998, The Sedimentary Basins of Western Australia 2: Proceedings of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia Symposium, Perth, WA, 1998, 369–395.
BRINCAT, M.P., LISK, M., KENNARD, J.M., BAILEY, W.R. AND EADINGTON, P.J., 2004—Evaluating the oil potential of the Caswell Sub-basin; insights from fluid inclusion studies. Special Publication - Northern Territory Geological Survey, 437–455.
EDWARDS, H., CROSBY, J., DAVID, N., LOADER, C. AND WESTLAKE, S., 2005—Australian Megasurveys – the key to new discoveries in maturing areas. The APPEA Journal, 45(1), 407–419.
FUJIMOTO, M., YOSHIDA, T. AND LONG, A., 2010—Improved seismic inversion and reservoir description of Ichthys gas-condensate field, Browse Basin, Western Australia. The APPEA Journal, 50(1) Presentation.
KELMAN, A.P., KENNARD, J.M., NICOLL, R.S., LAURIE, J.R., EDWARDS, D.S., KHIDER, K. AND LE POIDEVIN, S., 2014—Browse Basin Biozonation and Stratigraphy 2014 Chart 32. Geoscience Australia Biozonation and Stratigraphy Chart Series (http://www.ga.gov.au/corporate_data/76687/Chart_32_Browse_Basin_2014.pdf).
KENNARD, J.M., DEIGHTON, I., RYAN, D., EDWARDS, D.S. AND BOREHAM, C.J., 2004—Subsidence and thermal history modelling: new insights into hydrocarbon expulsion from multiple petroleum systems in the Browse Basin. In: Ellis, G.K., Baillie, P.W. and Munson, T.J. (eds), Timor Sea Petroleum Geoscience. Proceedings of the Timor Sea Symposium, Darwin, 19–20 June 2003. Northern Territory Geological Survey, Special Publication 1, 411–435.
LAWRENCE, S.H.F., THOMPSON, M., RANKIN, A.P.C., ALEXANDER, J.C., BISHOP, D.J. AND BOTERHOVEN, B., 2014—A new structural analysis of the Browse Basin, Australian North West Margin. The APPEA Journal 54, 1–10.
LONGLEY, I.M., BUESSENSCHUETT, C., CLYDSDALE, L., CUBITT, C.J., DAVIS, R.C., JOHNSON, M.K., MARSHALL, N.M., MURRAY, A.P., SOMERVILLE, R., SPRY, T.B. AND THOMPSON, N.B., 2002—The North West Shelf of Australia – a Woodside perspective. In: Keep, M. and Moss, S. (eds), The Sedimentary Basins of Western Australia III: Proceedings of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia Symposium, Perth, WA, 2002, 27–88.
RADLINSKI, A.P., KENNARD, J.M., EDWARDS, D.S., HINDE, A.L. AND DAVENPORT, R., 2004—Hydrocarbon generation and expulsion from Early Cretaceous source rocks in the Browse Basin, North West Shelf, Australia: a small angle neutron scattering study. The APPEA Journal, 44(1), 151–180.
STRUCKMEYER, H.I.M., BLEVIN, J.E., SAYERS, J., TOTTERDELL, J.M., BAXTER, K. AND CATHRO, D.L., 1998—Structural evolution of the Browse Basin, North West Shelf: new concepts from deep-seismic data. In: Purcell, P.G. and R.R. (eds), 1998, The Sedimentary Basins of Western Australia 2: Proceedings of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia Symposium, Perth, WA, 1998, 345–367.
SYMONDS, P.A., COLLINS, C.D.N. AND BRADSHAW, J., 1994—Deep structure of the Browse Basin: implications for basin development and petroleum exploration. In: Purcell, P.G. and R.R. (eds), The Sedimentary Basins of Western Australia: Proceedings of Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia Symposium, Perth, 1994, 315–331.
VOLK, H., BRINCAT, M. P., GEORGE, S. C., KENNARD, J. M., EDWARDS, D. S., BOREHAM, C. J., AHMED, M. AND LISK, M., 2005—Clues to fill histories of gas fields in the Caswell Sub-basin; evidence from the distribution and geochemistry of palaeo-oils. The APPEA Journal, 45(1), 679.
WILLIS, I., 1988—Results of exploration, Browse Basin, North West Shelf, Western Australia. In: Purcell, P.G. and R.R. (eds), The North West Shelf, Australia: Proceedings of Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia Symposium, Perth, 1988, 259–272.
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