Australian NW Shelf Pressure Study: Carnarvon Basin


The Carnarvon Basin contains overpressured Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic strata. The uncertainty in understanding the geopressure regime in the region forms a significant exploration risk for the safe and successful drilling of offshore wells.

As modern exploration targets deeper plays below the region’s Early Cretaceous seals, an increased understanding of geopressure will be essential to predict overpressure ramps, economically plan wells, and fully understand hydrocarbon migration and trapping.

This study seeks to increase the understanding of the pressure regime in the region, therefore improving the safety and success rate in future drilling in this region.


  • Partners
  • Partners
  • Reduced drilling risk in high pressure drilling with associated time and cost savings
  • Potential to increase reserves close to existing facilities, plus new exploration potential
  • Improved understanding of the regional pressure regime and its part in controlling aspects of the petroleum system, including trap integrity and reservoir quality

Video: Australian North West Shelf Pressure Study

An introduction to Ikon’s extensive work in the Australian North West Shelf. Find out how this GeoPressure study will help oil companies working in the Carnarvon Basin.

  • Mapped pressure regressions, and assessment of the implications for hydrodynamic flow conditions and sealing potential
  • Understanding of controls on pressure compartments spatially and stratigraphically, and an assessment of the regional distribution of lateral and vertical seals
  • Calculation of formation strength from leak-off test and related data and development of appropriate algorithms, including a pore pressure-stress coupling term
  • Evaluation of the drilling window using pore pressure distributions, formation strength and lithostatic pressure gradients Identification of areas favourable for the development of hydrodynamic traps
  • Explanation of the mechanisms of overpressure generation – a development of the models in paper “The origin and influence of overpressure with reference to the North-West Shelf, Australia” by Swarbrick and Hillis (1999)

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