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ABSTRACT: Diagenesis and Reservoir Potential of Volcanogenic Sandstones-Cretaceous of the Surat Basin, Queensland, Australia

H. M. Hawlader

The sandstones of the Lower Cretaceous succession of the Surat basin are characterized by abundant volcanogenic detritus in the form of rock-fragments and feldspars derived from an andesitic magmatic arc coincident with the present Great Barrier Reef in offshore Queensland. These compositionally immature sandstones are not regarded as favorable exploration targets because of their labile nature, their shallow burial depths, and hence the low thermal maturity of the intercalated mudrocks that might have constituted hydrocarbon source rocks. However, petrographic and petrophysical examinations show that significant primary and early diagenetic secondary dissolution porosity and permeability exist in some of these stratigraphic units that under certain circumstances could be the host for hydrocarbons and may become the future exploration targets. Flushing by CO2-charged meteoric water after the inception of the Great Artesian basin (of which the Surat basin is a component) in the Tertiary is likely to have been the principal agent of secondary porosity development in these sandstones. Additionally, products of microbial degradation of organic matter (in the intercalated mudstones) and/or maturation products from the deeply buried part of the basin might have assisted in the dissolution of framework grains and previously deposited cement.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90097©1990 Fifth Circum-Pacific Energy and Mineral Resources Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, July 29-August 3, 1990