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Rapid regional prioritisation report (stage 1)

The first stage of the Geological and Bioregional Assessments Program - rapid regional prioritisation - was conducted by Geoscience Australia. The prioritisation process identified geological basins with the greatest potential to deliver shale and/or tight gas to the East Coast Gas Market within the next five to ten years. 

An initial assessment identified 27 eastern and northern Australian basins that could possibly contain shale and/or tight gas plays. These basins were then screened to produce a shortlist of nine basins where active exploration for shale and/or tight gas resources was already underway and possible plays, leads or prospects had already been identified. The nine basins shortlisted are:

  • Amadeus Basin (Northern Territory, Western Australia, South Australia)
  • Bowen Basin (Queensland)
  • Clarence-Moreton Basin (Queensland and New South Wales)
  • Cooper Basin (Queensland and South Australia)
  • Georgina Basin (Northern Territory and Queensland)
  • Gippsland Basin (Victoria)
  • Isa Superbasin, within the Mount Isa Province (Queensland and Northern Territory)
  • McArthur Basin, including the Beetaloo Sub-basin (Northern Territory), and
  • Otway Basin (South Australia and Victoria).

These nine basins were then assessed and ranked against the following criteria:

  • moderate to high prospectivity for shale and/or tight gas resources;
  • moderate to high confidence in the prospectivity, owing to level of data collected and/or exploration status;
  • access to the East Coast Gas Market via existing or planned infrastructure (including gas pipelines), and;
  • where moratoria or bans prevent or impede onshore gas exploration and development.

On the basis of their ranking, and consultation with state and territory governments and industry, the Cooper Basin, Isa Superbasin, and Beetaloo Sub-basin were selected for assessment.

This report, "Rapid regional prioritisation for tight and shale gas potential of eastern and northern Australian basins", presents the context of the program and describes the evidence based decision making process used in Stage 1 to narrow the focus of the program to areas of highest priority for further research.

Please note that images in the Microsoft Word version of the Appendices document have been compressed to reduce file size. The PDF document contains images in full resolution.  

Last updated:
8 July 2020