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Australia’s Carnarvon Basin: Unravelling The Pressure Highs, Lows, and Surprises of One of The World’s Most Varied Petroleum Basins and Its Future Prospects

Australia’s Northern Carnarvon Basin has experienced a varied geological history with several periods of extension and thermal subsidence giving rise to the eleven sub-basins that make up the province. Between the sub-basins, the sequences of strata, their age, depth and burial rates, and constituent rock type can vary greatly. With these great contrasts in rock type and burial rates, the anticipated pore pressure between the sub-basins is subject to a wide range of possibilities creating a difficult environment in which to predict pressure.

To improve prediction capabilities for well planning, Ikon Science conducted a regional study of the Northern Carnarvon Basin in 2013. The study included over 600 exploration wells with the express purpose of identifying areas with increased risk of high pressure or high uncertainty and it supplied tools to help with prediction.

The talk will review highlights from the original study and how learnings can be applied to other petroleum provinces. A case study will be presented that includes a more recently drilled well that validates a high overpressure fault-transfer model identified in the study, and the talk will finish by briefly looking at how this study can be built on and harnessed for future opportunities.

 

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