Cooper Basin

On 29 November 2017 the Cooper Basin in south west Queensland and north east South Australia was announced as the first basin selected for assessment under the Geological and Bioregional Assessment Program.

The Cooper Basin region spans an area of about 130,000 square kilometres and is located entirely within the Lake Eyre drainage catchment. About two-thirds of the subregion is located in south-west Queensland and the remainder in north-east South Australia and far north-west New South Wales.

The Cooper Basin region incorporates the Cooper–Eromanga Basin hydrocarbon system. It is Australia’s premier onshore oil and gas producing area and, as such, its geology is relatively well understood. Prospecting in the Cooper Basin is high, with tight and shale gas, as well as gas from deep dry coals, under active exploration.

Much of the Cooper Basin region is part of the Cooper Creek–Bulloo river basin. Cooper Creek and the Thomson, Barcoo and Bulloo rivers are the major streams in this basin. Cooper Creek flows some 1500 kilometres south-west through Coongie Lakes Ramsar Wetland to Kati Thanda—Lake Eyre and during periods of high flow its floodplain can exceed 15,300 square kilometres with a width exceeding 60 kilometres.

Last updated:
17 July 2018