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  • This web service displays the results of a marine survey conducted by Geoscience Australia in Commonwealth waters of the north-eastern Browse Basin (Caswell Sub-basin) between 9 October and 9 November 2014. The additional codes GA-0345 and GA-0346 refer to Geoscience Australia (GA) internal codes and TAN1411 is the vessel survey number given by the RV Tangaroa for 2014.

  • The first large-scale projects for geological storage of carbon dioxide on the Australian mainland are likely to occur within sedimentary sequences that underlie or are within the Triassic-Cretaceous, Great Artesian Basin (GAB) aquifer sequence. Recent national1 and state2 assessments have concluded that certain deep formations within the GAB show considerable geological suitability for the storage of greenhouse gases. These same formations contain trapped methane and naturally generated CO2 stored for millions of years. In July 2010, the Queensland government released exploration permits for Greenhouse Gas Storage in the Surat and Galilee basins.An important consideration in assessing the potential economic, environmental, health and safety risks of such projects is the potential impact CO2 migrating out of storage reservoirs could have on overlying groundwater resources. The risk and impact of CO2 migrating from a greenhouse gas storage reservoir into groundwater cannot be objectively assessed without knowledge of the natural baseline characteristics of the groundwater within these systems. Due to the phase behaviour of CO2, geological storage of carbon dioxide in the supercritical state requires depths greater than 800m, but there are few hydrogeochemical studies of these deeper aquifers in the prospective storage areas. Historical hydrogeochemical data are compiled from various State and Federal Government agencies. In addition, hydrogeochemical information is compiled from thousands of petroleum well completion reports in order to obtain more information on the deeper aquifers, not typically used for agriculture or human consumption. The data are passed through a QC procedure to check for mud contamination and to ascertain whether a representative sample had been collected. The large majority of the samples proved to be contaminated but a small selection passed the QC criteria. The full dataset is available for download from GA's Virtual Dataroom. Oral presentation at "Groundwater 2010" Conference, 31 October - 4 November 2010, Canberra

  • A question and answer style brochure on geological storage of carbon dioxide. Questions addressed include: - What is geological storage? - Why do we need to store carbon dioxide? - How can you store anything in solid rock? - Could the carbon dioxide contaminate the fresh water supply? - Could a hydrocarbon seal leak? - Are there any geological storage projects in Australia?

  • The Browse Basin is located in the southern Timor Sea region of Australia's North West Shelf and covers an area of ~140,000 km2. It was identified as containing potential Environmentally Suitable Sites for carbon dioxide (CO2) Injection (ESSCI) by the Australian Petroleum CRC's GEODISC program (1999-2003). A regional geological reconnaissance of Cenozoic sandstone and carbonate sequences in the Browse Basin was undertaken in 2007 to determine the potential storage and sealing capacity for geological storage of CO2, the results of which are presented in this report. Methods included the review of available literature and well-completion reports, lithological and mineral analysis of selected well cuttings and interpretation of the wire-line and seismic response of the Cenozoic section.

  • As part of the Australian Government National CO2 Infrastructure Plan (NCIP), Geoscience Australia is undertaking CO2 storage assessment of the Vlaming Sub-basin located offshore Western Australia in the southern Perth Basin. The Vlaming Sub-basin is a Mesozoic depocentre containing up to 14 km of sediments. Close proximity of the basin to industrial polluters in the Perth area dictates the need to find CO2 storage solutions in this basin. The main reservoir unit identified as suitable for storage of CO2 is the Early Cretaceous Gage Sandstone deposited in paleo-topographic lows of the Valanginian breakup unconformity. The reservoir unit is laterally extensive (over 1,500 km2) and over most of the area reasonably thick (100 - 300 m). It lies at depths between 1400 and 2000 m below the seafloor, which is suitable for injection of the supercritical CO2 and makes it an attractive target for the long-term storage. The reservoir unit is overlain by a thick deltaic to shallow marine succession of the South Perth Shale, which represents a regional seal in the area. Carbon Storage taskforce estimated that up 1 GT of CO2 can be stored in the Gage Sandstone. The first assessment of the Vlaming Sub-basin undertaken by CO2CRC focused on evaluation of the reservoir unit and overall storage capacity. The current study is based on interpretation and integration of the seismic, well and marine datasets, both existing and acquired since the previous assessment. It includes detailed analysis of reservoir and seal properties and a comprehensive evaluation of the seal integrity risks to allow a more accurate and realistic modeling for CO2 storage.

  • Geoscience Australia undertook a marine survey of the Leveque Shelf (survey number SOL5754/GA0340), a sub-basin of the Browse Basin, in May 2013. This survey provides seabed and shallow geological information to support an assessment of the CO2 storage potential of the Browse sedimentary basin. The basin, located on the Northwest Shelf, Western Australia, was previously identified by the Carbon Storage Taskforce (2009) as potentially suitable for CO2 storage. The survey was undertaken under the Australian Government's National CO2 Infrastructure Plan (NCIP) to help identify sites suitable for the long term storage of CO2 within reasonable distances of major sources of CO2 emissions. The principal aim of the Leveque Shelf marine survey was to look for evidence of any past or current gas or fluid seepage at the seabed, and to determine whether these features are related to structures (e.g. faults) in the Leveque Shelf area that may extend to the seabed. The survey also mapped seabed habitats and biota to provide information on communities and biophysical features that may be associated with seepage. This research, combined with deeper geological studies undertaken concurrently, addresses key questions on the potential for containment of CO2 in the basin's proposed CO2 storage unit, i.e. the basal sedimentary section (Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous), and the regional integrity of the Jamieson Formation (the seal unit overlying the main reservoir). This dataset comprises sparker sub bottom profiles processed as shallow, high resolution, multichannel seismic reflection data (SEG-Y format), navigation files (P190) and stacking velocities.

  • Introduction This National Carbon Infrastructure Plan study assesses the suitability of the Vlaming Sub-basin for CO2 storage. The Vlaming Sub-basin is a Mesozoic depocentre within the offshore southern Perth Basin, Western Australia (Figure 1). It is around 23,000 km2 and contains up to 14 km of sediments. The Early Cretaceous Gage Sandstone was deposited in paleo-topographic lows of the Valanginian breakup unconformity and is overlain by the South Perth Shale regional seal. Together, these formations are the most prospective reservoir/seal pair for CO2 storage. The Gage Sandstone reservoir has porosities of 23-30% and permeabilities of 200-1800 mD. It lies mostly from 1000 - 3000 m below the seafloor, which is suitable for injection of supercritical CO2 and makes it an attractive target as a long-term storage reservoir. Methods & datasets To characterise the Gage reservoir, a detailed sequence stratigraphic analysis was conducted integrating 2D seismic interpretation, well log analysis and new biostratigraphic data (MacPhail, 2012). Paleogeographic reconstructions of components of the Gage Lowstand Systems Tract (LST) are based on seismic facies mapping, and well log and seismic interpretations. Results The Gage reservoir is a low stand systems tract that largely coincides with the Gage Sandstone and is defined by the presence of the lower G. mutabilis dinoflagellate zone. A palynological review of 6 wells led to a significant revision, at the local scale, of the Valanginian Unconformity and the extent of the G. mutabilis dinoflagellate zones (MacPhail, 2012). G. mutabilis dinoflagellates were originally deposited in lagoonal (or similar) environments and were subsequently redeposited in a restricted marine environment via mass transport flows. Mapping of the shelf break indicates that the Gage LST was deposited in water depths of >400 m. Intersected in 8 wells, the Gage LST forms part of a sand-rich submarine fan system (Figure 2) that includes channelized turbidites, low stand fan deposits, debris flows (Table 1). This interpretation is broadly consistent with Spring & Newell (1993) and Causebrook (2006). The Gage LST is thickest (up to 360 m) at the mouth of large canyons adjacent to the Badaminna Fault Zone (BFZ) and on the undulating basin plain west of Warnbro 1 (Figure 1). Paleogeographic maps depict the evolution of the submarine fan system (Figure 3). Sediment transport directions feeding the Gage LST are complex. Unit A is sourced from the northern canyon (Figure 3a). Subsequently, Unit B (Figure 3b) derived sediment from multiple directions including incised canyons adjacent to BFZ and E-W oriented canyons eroding into the Badaminna high. These coalesce on an undulating basin plain west of Warnbro 1. Minor additional input for the uppermost Unit C (Figure 3c) is derived from sources near Challenger 1. Summary 1: The Gage LST is an Early Cretaceous submarine fan system that began deposition during the G. mutabilis dinoflagellate zone. It ranges from confined canyon fill to outer fan deposits on an undulating basin plain. 2: The 3 units within the Gage LST show multidirectional sediment sources. The dominant supply is via large canyons running north-south adjacent to the Badaminna Fault Zone. 3: Seismic facies interpretations and palaeogeographic mapping show that the best quality reservoirs for potential CO2 storage are located in the outer fan (Unit C sub-unit 3) and the mounded canyon fill (Unit A). These are more likely to be laterally connected. 4: The defined units and palaeogeographic maps will be used in a regional reservoir model to estimate the storage capacity of the Gage LST reservoir.

  • In 2011 as part of the National CO2 Infrastructure Plan (NCIP), Geoscience Australia started a three year project to provide new pre-competitive data and a more detailed assessment of the Vlaming Sub-basin prospectivity for the storage of CO2. Initial assessment by Causebrook 2006 of this basin identified Gage Sandstone and South Perth Shale (SPS) formations as the main reservoir/seal pair suitable for long-term storage of CO2. SPS is a thick (1900 m) deltaic succession with highly variable lithologies. It was estimated that the SPS is capable of holding a column of CO2 of up to 663m based on 6 MICP tests (Causebrook, 2006). The current study found that sealing capacity of the SPS varies considerably across the basin depending on what part of the SPS Supersequence is present at that location. Applying a sequence-stratigraphic approach, the distribution of mudstone facies within the SPS Supersequence, was mapped across the basin. This facies is the effective sub-regional seal of the SPS. Analysis of the spatial distribution and thickness of the effective seal is used for characterisation of the containment potential in the Vlaming Sub-basin CO2 storage assessment.

  • This 2D deep crust seismic reflection survey is part of the joint project between the Geological Survey of Western Australia and Geoscience Australia and is a base study of the South Perth Basin linked to possible future geo-sequestration in the region. It consists of recording seismic signals down to 8 seconds two-way-time depth to image the rock layers below the earths surface. This geophysical method allows the upper crust to be imaged and assists in providing an understanding of the crustal architecture of the study region. Terrex Seismic, a sub-contractor, undertook the geophysical data acquisition. The data were processed to produce industry standard 2D land seismic reflection data. Raw data for this survey are available on request from clientservices@ga.gov.au

  • Geoscience Australia (GA) conducted a marine survey (GA0345/GA0346/TAN1411) of the north-eastern Browse Basin (Caswell Sub-basin) between 9 October and 9 November 2014 to acquire seabed and shallow geological information to support an assessment of the CO2 storage potential of the basin. The survey, undertaken as part of the Department of Industry and Science's National CO2 Infrastructure Plan (NCIP), aimed to identify and characterise indicators of natural hydrocarbon or fluid seepage that may indicate compromised seal integrity in the region. The survey was conducted in three legs aboard the New Zealand research vessel RV Tangaroa, and included scientists and technical staff from GA, the NZ National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd. (NIWA) and Fugro Survey Pty Ltd. Shipboard data (survey ID GA0345) collected included multibeam sonar bathymetry and backscatter over 12 areas (A1, A2, A3, A4, A6b, A7, A8, B1, C1, C2b, F1, M1) totalling 455 km2 in water depths ranging from 90 - 430 m, and 611 km of sub-bottom profile lines. Seabed samples were collected from 48 stations and included 99 Smith-McIntyre grabs and 41 piston cores. An Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) (survey ID GA0346) collected higher-resolution multibeam sonar bathymetry and backscatter data, totalling 7.7 km2, along with 71 line km of side scan sonar, underwater camera and sub-bottom profile data. Twenty two Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) missions collected 31 hours of underwater video, 657 still images, eight grabs and one core. This catalogue entry refers to total sediment metabolism, bulk carbonate and mineral specific surface area measurements, and major and minor trace elements and carbon and nitrogen concentrations and isotopes in the upper 2 cm of seabed sediments.