Australian Research Council

Tectonic Geography of the World's Oldest Petroleum Play, the McArthur Basin

01.09.2017 - 01.09.2019

McArthur Basin hydrocarbon plays cover large areas of northern Australia and include shale source and reservoir rocks > 1 billion years old; making them the most unconventional of petroleum plays. To de-risk them a regional 4D tectonic geography framework is needed. This project will construct this by a) investigating the evolving tectonic setting, b) examining intra-basin correlations and trace the source to sink sediment provenance, c) unraveling the depositional geography using novel isotopic proxies, and, d) constructing the subsequent thermal history of the basin. This road-map will develop techniques to understand truly ancient petroleum systems, build capacity and expertise in Australia and support exploration in northern Australia.