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South Eastern Gippsland Basin

Bids close 29 October 2015

  • Located in a world class producing petroleum province
  • Shallow to ultra-deep water depths (80–3000 m)
  • Under-explored part of the basin offering untested plays
  • Multiple potential oil- and gas-prone source rocks and active petroleum systems within the region
  • Special Notices apply, refer to Guidance Notes

The Gippsland Basin developed during the Early Cretaceous as part of the break-up of Gondwana and extension between the Australian and Antarctic continents. Continued rifting into the Late Cretaceous generated a classic extensional geometry comprising a depocentre (the Central Deep) that is flanked by platforms and terraces. Several petroleum systems operate in the basin. The largest oil and gas fields are hosted by top-Latrobe Group (Eocene) shallow marine barrier sandstones with additional discoveries made in intra-Latrobe (Paleocene) coastal plain and deltaic channel sandstones

Release Areas V15-2 and V15-3 are located in the southeastern part of the offshore Gippsland Basin. The area includes the basin’s Southern Platform, the Pisces Sub-basin, and the poorly defined sequences underlying the steeply incised Bass Canyon in which water depths exceed 3000 m. Only one well, Pisces 1 (Figure 1), was drilled in these areas, and additional geological control is provided by several exploration wells in the adjacent former release area V13-2 to the north. Here, several wells recorded oil and gas shows and, in the case of Archer 1 and Anemone 1A, sub-commercial oil and gas accumulations (Figure 2). This confirms that a petroleum system involving the Santonian (Upper Cretaceous) Golden Beach Subgroup (Figure 3) exists in the southeastern part of the Gippsland Basin, while overall, the entire uppermost Lower Cretaceous to Upper Cretaceous section in the western Bass Canyon region provides various new exploration targets.

Despite being considered mature for hydrocarbon exploration, the basin’s south eastern and eastern parts have remained under-explored. Data coverage across Release Areas V15-2 and V15-3 is variable and comprises 2D seismic surveys (Figure 4) of mainly pre-2000 vintage. With hydrocarbon production in the Central Deep declining, the greater Bass Canyon area provides access to the older stratigraphic section in which hydrocarbons were recorded along the uplifted northern margin of the Central Deep.

Petroleum systems elements

Gippsland Basin

Sources
  • Upper Cretaceous-Paleogene marine to non-marine Cobia and Halibut subgroups (Latrobe Group) – coals and carbonaceous shales
  • Upper Cretaceous marine Anemone Formation (Golden Beach Subgroup) – shales
  • Upper Cretaceous lacustrine Kipper Formation (Emperor Subgroup) –carbonaceous shales (unproven in release area)
  • Lower Cretaceous non-marine Strzelecki Group (unproven in release area)
Reservoirs
  • Cretaceous–Paleogene marine and non-marine Latrobe Group;
  • Eocene–Oligocene lower coastal plain Burong Formation (Cobia Subgroup)
  • Paleocene–Eocene Mackerel Formation (Halibut Subgroup)
  • Campanian–Maastrichtian Volador Formation (Halibut Subgroup)
  • Santonian–Campanian Chimaera and Anemone formations (Golden Beach Subgroup)
Seals Regional seals
  • Oligocene–Miocene marine carbonate early Oligocene Wedge (EOW), Lakes Entrance and Swordfish formations (Seaspray Group)

Intra-Latrobe Group seals

  • Paleocene marine Kate Shale (Halibut Subgroup)
  • Campanian–Paleocene volcanics (several distinct horizons)
  • Santonian–Campanian Anemone Formation (Golden Beach Subgroup)
Traps
  • Structural traps (anticlinal closures)
  • A variety of fault related traps, including tilted fault blocks
  • Channel plays
  • Stratigraphic pinch out plays

Infrastructure and markets

The Release Areas are situated to the southeast of pre-existing infrastructure in the Central Deep, which contains most of the major oil and gas fields. Hydrocarbon production in the basin remains strong, expanded by a new $4.4 billion investment to develop the Kipper-Tuna-Turrum project. The oil and gas resources are processed at the Longford facility and made available for the growing SE Australian energy market. Despite long term production, the Gippsland Basin is still recognised as a world class petroleum province.

Critical risks

Risks include migration distance and migration shadows. Generation from the Kipper Shale and Anemone Formation (Figure 3) is a critical risk since the Halibut Subgroup has not reached thermal maturity in this region, and would rely on longer distance migration from the Central Deep. The timing of peak generation from the Strzelecki and Emperor subgroups compared to trap formation is also a critical risk. These subgroups reached peak generation during the Late Cretaceous (~85–80 Ma), while the main trap-forming event at top-Latrobe level occurred in the Oligocene. Hence, the preservation of any hydrocarbons generated in this early phase must rely on stratigraphic trapping or traps formed within the lower Latrobe Group.

Data sets

Wells Data and Seismic Survey listings for the southeastern Gippsland Basin are available on the Supporting Information page.

Geoscience Australia and Geoscience Victoria products

Regional geology and seismic

  • Australian Southern Margin Synthesis, Project GA707. Client report to Geoscience Australia by FrOG Tech Pty Ltd., 2009.
  • XYZ single and multibeam bathymetry grids of the Gippsland Basin. Dataset by Spinoccia, 2012.
  • Regional Structure of the Gippsland Basin: Interpretation and Mapping of a Deep Seismic Data Set. Australian Geological Survey Organisation Record 1993/13 by Colwell et al, 1993.
  • A regional review of the offshore Gippsland Basin. Report 297. Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and Geophysics report by Maung and Nicholas 1990.
  • O'Brien, G.W., Bernecker, T., Thomas, J.H., Driscoll, J., Harrison, M. and Frankel, E., 2007. Hydrocarbon prospectivity of areas V07-1, V07-2 and V07-3, north-eastern offshore Gippsland Basin, Victoria, Australia. Victorian Initiative for Minerals & Petroleum Report 92. Department of Primary Industries.
  • Blevin, J., Cathro, D., Nelson, G., Vizy, J. and Lee, J.D., 2013—Survey GDPI10 Interpretation Project, Southern Flank, Gippsland Basin. VicGCS Report 8, Department of Primary Industries.
  • Bernecker, T., Thomas, J.H. and O'Brien, G.W., 2006. Hydrocarbon Prospectivity of Areas V06-2, V06-3 and V06-4, Southern Offshore Gippsland Basin, Victoria, Australia. Victorian Initiative for Minerals and Petroleum Report 88, Department of Primary Industries.
  • Bernecker, T., Driscoll, J., Powell, A. and Thomas, J.H., 2004. Hydrocarbon prospectivity of the 2004 Acreage Release Areas, Victoria, Australia. Victorian Initiative for Minerals and Petroleum Report 83. Department of Primary Industries
  • Thomas, J.H., Bernecker, T., and Driscoll, J., 2003. Hydrocarbon Prospectivity of Areas V03-3 and V03-4, Offshore Gippsland Basin, Victoria, Australia: 2003 Acreage Release. Victorian Initiative for Minerals and Petroleum Report 80. Department of Primary Industries.
  • Bernecker, T., Wong, D., Driscoll, J. and Liberman, N., 2002. Hydrocarbon prospectivity of areas V02-2, V02-3 and V02-4, offshore Gippsland Basin, Victoria, Australia: 2002 Acreage Release. Victorian Initiative for Minerals and Petroleum Report 74. Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
  • Smith, M.A., Bernecker, T., Liberman, N., Moore, D.H. and Wong, D., 2000. Petroleum prospectivity of the deep-water gazettal areas V00-3 & V00-4, southeastern Gippsland Basin, Victoria. Victorian Initiative for Minerals and Petroleum Report 65. Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
  • Wong, D. and Bernecker, T., 2001. Prospectivity and hydrocarbon potential of area V01-4, Central Deep, Gippsland Basin, Victoria, Australia: 2001 Acreage Release. Victorian Initiative for Minerals and Petroleum Report 67. Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
  • Woollands, M.A. and Wong, D. (eds), 2001. Petroleum Atlas of Victoria, Australia. Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

Stratigraphy

Petroleum systems and accumulations

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 sales@ga.gov.au

For Geoscience Victoria reports (listed above) access: http://dpistore.efirst.com.au/

BERNECKER, T. AND PARTRIDGE, A.D., 2001—Emperor and Golden Beach Subgroups: The onset of Late Cretaceous Sedimentation in the Gippsland Basin, SE Australia. In: Hill, K.C. And Bernecker, T. (eds), Eastern Australasian Basins Symposium, A Refocused Energy Perspective for the Future. Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia, Special Publication, 391–402.

BERNECKER, T. AND PARTRIDGE, A.D., 2005—Approaches to palaeogeographic reconstructions of the Latrobe Group, Gippsland Basin, southeastern Australia. The APPEA Journal, 45(1), 581–600.

BERNECKER, T., WOOLLANDS, M.A., WONG, D., MOORE, D.H. AND SMITH, M.A., 2001 Hydrocarbon prospectivity of the deep-water Gippsland Basin, Victoria, Australia. The APPEA Journal, 41(1), 79–101.

BURNS, B.J., BOSTWICK, T.R. AND EMMETT, J.K., 1987—Gippsland terrestrial oils – recognition of compositional variations due to maturity and biodegradation. The APEA Journal, 27, 73–85.

BURNS, B.J., JAMES, A.T. AND EMMETT, J.K., 1984—The use of gas isotopes in determining the source of some Gippsland Basin oils. The APEA Journal, 24, 217–221.

BLEVIN, J., CATHRO, D., NELSON, G., VIZY, J. AND LEE, J.D., 2013—Survey GDPI10 Interpretation Project, Southern Flank, Gippsland Basin. VicGCS Report 8, Department of Primary Industries.

DUDDY, I.R., 1994—The Otway Basin: Thermal structural tectonic and hydrocarbon generation histories. In: Finlayson, D.A.I. (ed), NGMA/PESA Otway Basin Symposium Abstracts. Australian Geological Survey Organisation Record 1994/14, 35–42.

DUDDY, I.R., 2000—Modelling source rock maturation histories for 7 wells and 7 pseudowells, Gippsland Basin deep water project. Geotrack Report 741.

GOLDIE DIVKO, L.M., O’BRIEN, G.W., HARRISON, M.L. AND HAMILTON, P.J., 2010—Evaluation of the regional top seal in the Gippsland Basin: implications for geological carbon storage and hydrocarbon prospectivity. The APPEA Journal 50(1), 463–486.

GORTER, J.D., 2001—A marine source rock in the Gippsland Basin? In: Hill, K.C. and Bernecker, T. (eds), Eastern Australasian Basins Symposium, A Refocused Energy Perspective for the Future. Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia, Special Publication, 385–390.

GROSS, M., 1993—Determination of reservoir distribution over the Blackback/Terakihi oil field, Gippsland Basin, Australia. The APEA Journal, 33, 1–14.

HOCKING, J.B., 1988—Gippsland Basin. In: Douglas, J.G. and Ferguson, J.A. (eds), Geology of Victoria. Victorian Division Geological Survey Australia Inc., Melbourne, 322–347

HOLDGATE, G.R., WALLACE, M.W., DANIELS, J., GALLAGHER, S.J., KEENE. J.B. AND SMITH, A.J., 2000—Controls on Seaspray Group sonic velocities in the Gippsland Basin – multidisciplinary approach to the canyon seismic velocity problem. The APPEA Journal, 40(1), 295–313.

MOORE, D.H. AND WONG, D., 2001—Down and out in Gippsland: using potential fields to look deeper and wider for new hydrocarbons. In: Hill, K.C. and Bernecker, T. (eds), Eastern Australasian Basins Symposium, A Refocused Energy Perspective for the Future. Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia, Special Publication, 363–371.

PARTRIDGE, A.D., 2012—Palynology and kerogen analyses from seven wells in Gippsland Basin: Anemone-1 & 1A, Carrs Creek-1, Hermes-1, Omeo-1, Perch-1, Sunday Island-1 and Volador-1. Biostrata Report 2012/03 prepared for Geoscience Victoria and Geoscience Australia, 44pp (unpublished).

PARTRIDGE, A.D., BERNECKER, T., KELMAN, A.P., KHIDER, K., LE POIDEVIN, S. AND MANTLE, D.J., 2013—Gippsland Basin, Biozonation and Stratigraphy, 2013, Chart 40. Geoscience Australia. http://www.ga.gov.au/corporate_data/76687/Chart_40_Gippsland_Basin.pdf.

TINGATE, P., CAMPI, M., O'BRIEN, G., MIRANDA, J., GOLDIE-DIVKO, L.M., LIU, K., MILLS, D., VOLK, H., HALL, D. AND HAMILTON, J., 2011—Understanding the plumbing of the Gippsland Basin; new results on fluid migration and reservoir quality. The APPEA Journal 51 (DVD) – extended abstract.

Figures

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Figure 1

 Gippsland Basin-South Eastern Gippsland Basin-figure-1 map image
Structural elements of the southeastern Gippsland Basin, showing petroleum fields and discoveries, the location of the regional seismic section shown in Figure 3 and the 2015 Release Areas
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Figure 2

 Gippsland Basin-South Eastern Gippsland Basin-figure-2 map image
Stratigraphy and hydrocarbon discoveries of the Continental Slope, Southern Terrace and Pisces Sub-basin, based on the Gippsland Basin Biozonation and Stratigraphy Chart 40 (Partridge et al 2013). Geological Time Scale after Gradstein et al (2012)
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Figure 3

 Gippsland Basin-South Eastern Gippsland Basin-figure-3 map image
Composite seismic line m95b/5097, gdw99/07 and gdw99/18 across the Pisces Sub-basin, Southern Terrace and Central Deep East. Interpretation by Geoscience Australia. Location of the seismic line is shown in Figure 1
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Figure 4

 Gippsland Basin-South Eastern Gippsland Basin-figure-4 map image
Seismic and well data in the vicinity of the 2015 Release Areas in the Southeastern Gippsland Basin
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