Australia is flanked by a vast area of continental margin incorporating 16 deeply submerged plateaus, terraces, and rises, which are largely unexplored for petroleum. Some are now within range of drilling and well-completion technology.
Most of these features are rifted and foundered continental blocks on which sediment thicknesses range from about 500 to 9,000 m. However, in many areas the marine sequence deposited after continental breakup is thin.
The most prospective areas, the Exmouth Plateau and the Carnarvon and Rowley Terraces off Western Australia, are underlain by several thousand meters of mainly fluvial-deltaic rift-stage sediments, which may provide reservoirs and gas-prone source beds. A transgressive marine mudstone is believed to provide the main source beds and seal. Fair prospects are assigned to three features offshore of Queensland—the Queensland and Townsville Troughs and a depocenter flanking the Marion Plateau. The Ceduna Terrace off southern Australia also warrants further exploration. Rift-basins which may occur beneath the South Tasmania Rise, Lord Howe Rise, Kenn Plateau, Eastern Fields Plateau and other areas off northeastern Australia, require further surveying, as they may provide long-term prospects for petroleum.
Figures & Tables
Energy Resources of the Pacific Region
The energy and mineral resources of the vast Pacific basin and its neighboring land areas play a vital role in meeting the ever-growing needs of society worldwide. Building on the foundation of a highly successful conference held in 1978, this volume contains 51 of the 135 papers presented there. Subjects included are general and specific in nature--oil, gas, and coal resources; geothermal fields, uranium; tin; evaporites, trace elements; water resources; magma energy and fuels from magma. Geological and geophysical techniques, and also the new tool of remote sending for petroleum and minerals exploration are represented. Tectonics, structure fundamentals, subsurface hazards, international treaties and the law of the deep sea are discussed. Seventeen countries and regions are represented in these papers: Thailand, Nicaragua, the United States, Japan, Peru, Antarctica, El Salvador, Australia, Mexico, Taiwan, New Zealand, China, Chile, Indonesia, Canada, and the Pacific Ocean.