Basin Evolution on the Edge of Gondwana
The Papua New Guinea Highlands are well-recognised as an established region for oil and gas production. Estimates suggest that extensive hydrocarbon resources remain undiscovered throughout Papua New Guinea. Successful exploration for this untapped resource is hindered, at present, by a lack of understanding of the regional tectonic framework and basin development. This lack of understanding arises from an inherent lack of confidence in the tectonic framework of Papua New Guinea, and the multitude of conflicting regional tectonic models. This research is investigating the evolution of the basins of Papua New Guinea, which formed on the eastern and northeastern margin of the Gondwana supercontinent.
Outcomes of this research are delivering new models for the formation and evolution of the Papuan Basin, as well as the little understood regional frontier basins, including the Aure and Moresby Troughs together with the deepwater Eastern and Papuan Plateaus, as well as the Sepik and Trobriand Basins. An understanding of the complex regional tectonic history and the resulting variations in basin geometry, character, composition and sedimentary thickness is essential to develop successful exploration programs and advance frontier play investigations.