Northern Sorell Basin
Bids close 21 April 2016
- Under-explored Mesozoic–Cenozoic basin
- Overlies large area of the frontier Sandy Cape Sub-basin, a depocentre containing up to 6 km of sediment
- Potential presence of petroleum systems proven to be productive in adjacent basin
- Potential good quality reservoirs and seals, oil- and gas-prone source rocks and active petroleum systems
- Shallow to ultra-deep water depths, 100–3200 m
- Adjacent to recently awarded permit
- Adjacent to Release Area T15-2 in the Otway Basin
- Special Notices apply, refer to Guidance Notes
Release Area T15-3 is located within the northern Sorell Basin, covering a large portion of the Sandy Cape Sub-basin, offshore of western Tasmania (Figure 1). It covers an area 5741 km2 consisting of 88 graticular blocks located along the continental shelf and slope, in water depths ranging from approximately 100 m to 3200 m. The area is adjacent to the Otway Basin, a well established gas-producing basin and is considered to have experienced a similar geologic history and have contiguous stratigraphy (Figure 2). Petroleum exploration permit T/49P (Figure 1), granted in 2013, adjoins T15-3 on the eastern half of its northern boundary.
Although the area is considered frontier, there are several factors suggesting that active petroleum systems may exist within the basin. These include the presence of a Cretaceous basin fill up to 6000 m thick (Figure 3) which is interpreted to contain organic-rich coaly, deltaic and marine facies that are mature for hydrocarbon generation in much of the basin, and traces of free oil and minor gas indications in a well to the south (Cape Sorell 1).
Figure 4 shows the existing data coverage of the region which includes numerous, open file 2D seismic surveys. Figure 4 also gives the locations of petroleum exploration wells near to the release area, including Jarver 1 (2008) in the southern part of the Sandy Cape Sub-basin and Clam 1 in the adjacent King Island Sub-basin. The area also has a good aeromagnetic data coverage.
Petroleum systems elements
Northern Sorell Basin
|Potential Seals||Regional Seals
Infrastructure and markets
No infrastructure exists, or is planned, within the Sorell Basin, as the basin is frontier. The nearest gas pipelines in operation are located approximately 120 km to the north–northwest, servicing the Thylacine and Geographe gas fields in the Otway Basin and 185 km to the northeast in the Bass Basin. The Tasmanian Gas Pipeline that delivers gas from the Gippsland Basin across Bass Strait to the northern part of Tasmania is also nearby at Port Latta, approximately 115 km to the east of the release area.
As this is a frontier area, risks derive from the lack of infrastructure and the limited exploration thus far, especially in the more distal and thicker parts of the basin—namely, the distribution and nature of source, reservoir and seal facies and thus lack of understanding of the petroleum systems, migration pathways and play types in the region. The potential size of petroleum accumulations and their preservation as a result of latest Cretaceous–Paleocene structural reactivation, could also be an issue.
Wells Data and Seismic Survey listings for the northern Sorell Basin are available on the Supporting Information page.
Geoscience Australia products
Regional geology and seismic
- Petroleum geology inventory of Australia's offshore frontier basins. Geoscience Australia Record by Totterdell et al, 2014.
- Geology and hydrocarbon prospectivity of the deepwater Otway and Sorell basins, offshore southeastern Australia. Geoscience Australia Record by Stacey et al, 2013.
- Basement structure and its influence on the pattern and geometry of continental rifting and breakup along Australia’s southern rift margin. Geoscience Australia Record by Gibson et al, 2012.
- Sorell Basin – Tasmania petroleum prospectivity bulletin. Australian Geological Survey Organisation electronic resource by Lodwick et al, 1999.
- AUSCAN seafloor mapping and geological sampling survey on the Australian southern margin. Geoscience Australia Record by Hill and De Deckker, 2004.
- BMR Cruise 067: Otway Basin and west Tasmanian sampling. Bureau of Mineral Resources Report by Exon et al, 1992.
- Western Tasmanian margin seismic interpretation and mapping. Geoscience Australia Record by Moore, 1991.
- Rig Seismic geological and geophysical research cruise off western and southeastern Tasmania. Bureau of Mineral Resources Record by Exon et al, 1989.
- Sorell Basin–Biozonation and Stratigraphy Chart No.13. Geoscience Australia Chart by Martinez et al, 1998.
Search for these and other Geoscience Australia reports and products at www.ga.gov.au/search
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MARTINEZ, J.I., CHAPRONIERE, G.C.H., SHATIK, S. AND NICOLL, R.S., 1998—Sorell Basin, Biozonation and Stratigraphy, 1998, Chart 13. In: Smith, T.E., Kelman, A.P., Nicoll, R.S., Laurie, J.R. and Le Poidevin, S.R., 2013. Geoscience Australia's Basin Biozonation and Stratigraphy Chart Series. Basin Biozonation and Stratigraphy Chart Series.
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MORSE, M.P., GIBSON, G.M. AND MITCHELL, C.H., 2009—Basement constraints on offshore basement architecture as determined by new aeromagnetic data acquired over Bass Strait and the western margin of Tasmania. Extended Abstract. Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists and Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia, 20th International Geophysical Conference and Exhibition. Adelaide.
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