Dataset: High Resolution Seismic Survey of the Exmouth, Barrow, and Dampier Sub-basins, North West Shelf, Australia : Cruise Proposal


Exploration in the offshore northern Carnarvon Basin during the last two decades has resulted in a number of major oil and gas discoveries. Recent discoveries in the Dampier (di Toro, 1994; Delfos, 1994), Exmouth (Bauer et al., 1994; Lawry & Carter, 1994; Mitchelmore & Smith, 1994) and Barrow (Beacher et al., 1994; Sit et al., 1994) sub-basins ensure that exploration activity is likely to remain high in these areas for the near future. However, some of these discoveries have been small fields or individual wells with residual oil columns, indicating that still greater quantities of hydrocarbons have escaped from the traps. Recent work on oil-filled fluid inclusions (Lisk & Eadington, 1994) indicates that the loss of hydrocarbons from pre-Cretaceous reservoirs and traps occurred during the past 20 million years, beginning in the Miocene. These hydrocarbons may have been lost, but could potentially
have been trapped in younger Cretaceous and Tertiary reservoirs. The Carnarvon Cretaceousflertiary Tie study proposes to address this issue by collecting and interpreting a regional high-resolution seismic survey, within the broad structural and tectonic framework provided by the Continental Margins Program Northwest Shelf Project. The main objectives are:

  1. construction of a regional, sequence-based chronostratigraphic framework for the Cretaceous and Tertiary within which the occurrence and distribution of potential seal and reservoir facies may be analyzed and predicted;
  2. assessment of the post-Valanginian fault reactivation history of the northern Carnarvon Basin and the implications for: (a) the migration of hydrocarbons from pre-Cretaceous traps and (b) the integrity of potential Cretaceous and Tertiary seals;
  3. determination of the probability of secondary migration and entrapment of hydrocarbons within Cretaceous and Tertiary strata.

Approximately 4240 krn of high-resolution seismic data has been proposed for acquisition by AGSO's RV Rig Seismic. The data set will comprise 23 seismic lines tying 107 wells in the Exrnouth, Barrow, Dampier and Beagle Sub-basins. These data will tie with and complement the deep-seismic grid previously acquired by AGSO in the Carnarvon Basin.

The seismic survey will be acquired using the latest high-resolution seismic technology. Data will be recorded using bubble-free GI air guns and with the following parameters: 3000m streamer; 12.5m group interval, 18.75m shot interval, recording frequency bandwidth of 4- 180Hz; 2ms sample interval; 5.5 second record length; and 80-fold CDP multiplicity. The program layout includes 5 strike lines linking the Exrnouth, Barrow, Dampier and Beagle subbasins and 18 dip lines orthogonal to the principal Mesozoic sub-basin fault systems.

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