WA-59-R – Northern Carnarvon Basin

13/08/2015 – Finder and Quadrant Energy Australia Limited have been granted a retention lease over the Olympus gas discovery made in Exploration Permit WA-450-P in 2012/2013. Petroleum Retention Lease WA-59-R has been granted for a term of five years.

A Play Rich block in Australia’s Oil and Gas “heartland”


Key Information

Operator: Quadrant Energy Australia Limited
25% Finder No 4 Pty Ltd
75% Quadrant Energy Australia Limited
~80 km²

Finder No 4 Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Finder Exploration Pty Ltd (“Finder”), was awarded a retention lease over the 2012/2013 Olympus gas discovery on 13 August 2015. Petroleum Retention Lease WA-59-R has been granted for a term of five years over the Olympus location within Exploration Permit WA-450-P.

WA-450-P was awarded to Finder on 18 June 2010 (the Permit was gazetted as W09-11 in the 2009 acreage release round). The Permit is located on the western flank of Rankin Platform of the Carnarvon Basin and is approximately 125 km from the coastline of Western Australia and approximately 35 km from the gas pipeline that joins the East Spar field to the domestic gas network. The giant Gorgon and Clio gas fields are ~10 km to the north of gazettal area. The producing Woollybutt and Griffin-Chinook-Scindian oil fields are approximately 30 km to the southwest and 40 km to the south, respectively. WA-450-P sits within the central part of the Northern Carnarvon Basin straddling the boundaries of three major tectonic elements, the gas rich Exmouth Plateau in the north, Alpha Arch in the east and the Exmouth Sub-Basin in the south.

Potential Play-Concepts

  1. Gas Play – DHI supported Triassic fluvio-deltaic Mungaroo and Brigadier Formation sandstones (eg Gorgon, Clio, Zeepaard and Achilles gas discoveries) – confirmed by the drilling of Olympus-1 in 2013;
  2. Oil Play – Berriasian age basin floor fan sandstones, ie Lower Barrow Delta equivalent;
  3. Oil Play – Mardie Greensand, Birdrong and Flag sandstones, ie Upper Barrow Delta equivalent (eg Lauda-1 oil discovery);
  4. Oil Play – Upper Jurassic basin floor fan sandstones, ie Dupuy Formation (eg Enfield and Laverda Oil Fields); and
  5. Gas Play – Oxfordian transgressive sandstones in a pinchout play onto the flanks of the Triassic structures (eg 2008-2010 Hess gas discoveries in WA-390-P).

Geology of the Northern Carnarvon Basin

The geological setting of the Northern Carnarvon Basin (and its deep water portion known collectively as the Exmouth Plateau) is the result of multiple periods of extension, subsidence and some compression, associated with the fragmentation of eastern Gondwana followed by compression in the latest Miocene. The Northern Carnarvon Basin developed by repeated reactivation of basement structures during Palaeozoic and Mesozoic tectonism where the Archean and Proterozoic structures plus Gondwanan plate tectonics controlled the shape of the Palaeozoic sub-basins. As more sediments were deposited into the basin the pre-existing north-eastern to south-western orientation tectonic fabric was overprinted on the younger Mesozoic basins. Structurally the area is dominated by multiple extensional episodes with the Oxfordian rifting preserved as the Barrow-Dampier-Exmouth Basins which is interpreted as a failed rift arm that formed during the Argo Land rift. The Valanginian rifting associated with the KV regional break-up unconformity and separation of the Greater India landmass is also superimposed on top of previous rifting episodes. The Carnarvon Basin is arguably Australia’s premier oil and gas province, with significant oil and gas discoveries and production infrastructure. Refer to the image below for an overview of the WA-59-R Olympus prospect.