During April/May 1988, the BMR research vessel 'Rig Seismic' carried out a 21 day geochemical and sedimentological research program in the Otway (17 days) and Gippsland (4 days) Basins. Light hydrocarbon gases (C1-C6) were measured in sediments at 342 locations on thecontinental shelf and upper continental slope. Thermogenic hydrocarbons were identified in near-surface sediments at forty-two locations in the Otway (32) and Gippsland (10) Basins. The major results from the Otway Basin include:
Evidence of thermogenic hydrocarbon sediments was found at seven locations on the Crayfish Platform, seven locations on the Mussel Platform and eighteen locations in the VolutaTrough.
Wet gas contents ([C2-C4/C1-C4] x 100), which provide some indication of both hydrocarbon source type and maturity,are highest on the basin margins, i.e. the Crayfish and Mussel Platforms. Wet gas contents were consistently lower in the Voluta Trough.
Total C1-C4 gas concentrations were higher in the Voluta Trough than on the basin margins, probably because of more intense near-surface faulting in the trough.
The geochemical data, when integrated with thermal maturation modelling and well data, suggest that the principal liquidhydrocarbon source rocks are located at the base of the Early Cretaceous Otway Group (i.e. basal Pretty Hill Sandstone). The Late Cretaceous Sherbrook Group appears to be gas-prone.
Preliminary data from the Gippsland Basin identify ten locations which show evidence of thermogenic hydrocarbons in near-surface sediments.
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