Faults and fractures in the Surat Basin

June 2015December 2017
An improved structural model of the Surat Basin will improve reservoir modelling.

Faults and fractures in the Surat Basin

This project provided a structural framework for the Surat Basin, including details of faults and associated fracture systems that intersect the Jurassic Walloon subgroup. Improving understanding of the fault and fracture network in the Surat Basin will aid in informing reservoir models.

One of the major technical challenges with coal seam gas development is the ability to predict permeability and reservoir performance in order to estimate gas production. Within coal measures there are fault and fracture systems which can compartmentalise a reservoir and make predictions of "good versus bad" fault difficult.

An improved structural model of the Surat Basin will improve reservoir modelling. This project was aimed at providing such a structural framework for the Surat Basin, including details of faults and associated fracture systems that intersect the Jurassic Walloon subgroup. Research focused on detailed characterisation of fault structures in the context of basin evolution, overprinting events, as well as past and present day regimes. At the same time a project was carried out to develop a synthetic rock mass model comparing Jurassic with Permian coals, to also aid in predicting reservoir response to gas production.

The project determined:

  1. The geometry and kinematics of major faults in the Surat and Bowen basins.
  2. Reactivation history of these faults with a special focus on the post-Jurassic deformation phase(s).
  3. Possible tectonic causes for each deformational phase.
  4. The geometry, kinematics and timing of structures confined in the Surat Basin succession.

PROJECT OUTPUTS

  • Project status: Complete
  • Project title: Understanding faults and fractures in the Surat Basin
  • Project leader: Professor Joan Esterle
  • Research team: Dr Abbas Babaahmadi, Mr Jeff Copely, Dr Renata Sliwa
  • Research group: The University of Queensland Centre for Coal Seam Gas
  • Timeframe: September 2017 - September 2019
  • Project funders: APLNG, Arrow Energy, Santos, University of Queensland