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ABSTRACT: Under-explored basins of Australia: an inventory

Stephenson, A. (Tony) E. , Australian Geological Survey Organisation, Canberra, Australia

Most of Australia's continental margin has not been thoroughly explored for petroleum, and can be regarded as 'frontier'. In order to understand the petroleum and other resource potential of Australia's frontier basins, it is first necessary to know the location and physical and geological attributes of those basins. Whilst data on particularly larger basins has been collated locally, no comprehensive inventory of Australian basins has existed at national scale. In addition, recent work associated with the Law of the Sea has seen knowledge of offshore basins in frontier areas expand considerably. AGSO's Basin Evaluation Project has addressed these shortcomings by compiling an inventory of all known sedimentary basins in Australia and its ocean territories, to be made available on CD and via the Internet, as part of the national geoscience database. The detail available on each basin varies with both its relative resource importance and our current level of knowledge. The inventory also cites key references and further sources of information and includes hot-links. It is in part designed to give an overview of Australian basins to those in the international petroleum industry not familiar with the details of Australian geology and petroleum potential.

Current geological knowledge suggests that many Australian under-explored offshore basins may have generated significant quantities of hydrocarbons. The most prospective of these include the Bight, Browse, Duntroon, Maryborough, Otway, Perth, Roebuck, Sorell, and Townsville Basins, plus some newly discovered basins on the Lord Howe and South Tasman Rises. Onshore, the Georgina and Officer Basins in particular may have untested petroleum potential.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90913©2000 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Bali, Indonesia