Offshore Canning Basin Regional Geology

Regional Geology of the Offshore Canning Basin

The Canning Basin is part of a series of large intracratonic basins in northwestern and central Australia, covering around 640 000 km2, of which 110 000 km2 are located offshore. It largely represents a northeast-trending passive margin of late Paleozoic and Mesozoic age that overlies a major northwest-trending intra-cratonic basin of mainly early Paleozoic age (Colwell and Stagg, 1994). The dominant Paleozoic northwesterly trend extends offshore onto the continental shelf.

The Canning Basin hosts a number of small hydrocarbon accumulations, including the Blina oil field which has been in production since the 1980s. Significant new discoveries have been made since 2009 and these have high-graded the exploration potential of the basin. Despite the variety of plays targeted by the initial offshore drilling program, only minor oil indications and bitumen have been recorded in one well, Perindi 1.








Figures

Figure 1

Structural elements of the offshore Canning Basin, showing key wells, petroleum fields and the locations of seismic sections shown in Figures 2 and 3


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Figure 2

Seismic line BBHR 175/14 in the Oobagooma Sub-basin. Interpretation by Geoscience Australia. Location of the seismic section is shown in Figure 1


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Figure 3

Seismic lines GA 120/06 and GA 120/08 across the Bedout Sub-basin, Broome Platform, Oobagooma Sub-basin and Leveque Shelf. Interpretation by Geoscience Australia. Location of the seismic section is shown in Figure 2


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Figure 4

Stratigraphy and hydrocarbon discoveries of the Canning Basin based on the Canning Basin Biozonation and Stratigraphy Chart (Smith et al, 2013). Geologic Time Scale after Gradstein et al (2012)


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Figure 5

Well locations in and near the offshore Canning Basin, highlighting new wells


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Figure 6

Exploration permits and operators in the offshore Canning Basin and surrounds


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Figure 7

Marine reserves, marine parks, multiple use zones, ecological features and the 2016 Acreage Release Areas in the Roebuck and offshore Canning basins


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