GEOSCIENCE Australia has generated a new mineralogical dataset for the Georgina basin, in the Northern Territory and Queensland, which it says will help to assess the area’s unconventional petroleum resource potential.

Most of the southern Georgina basin is under license for petroleum exploration, with explorers targeting hydrocarbons sourced from the middle Cambrian Arthur Creek formation, which is about 505 million years old.

Several wells that intersect the Arthur Creek formation have encountered oil and gas, partly sourced from organic-rich shale in the lower part of the formation, Geoscience Australia said.

“These new data will help to map the thickness and extent of this shale and other prospective formations, assisting explorers by improving the identification of future drilling targets.”

The data was obtained from drill cores from 25 existing petroleum, mineral and stratigraphic wells distributed across the Northern Territory and Queensland parts of the basin.

The cores were analysed by the geological surveys of the Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales, with the resulting data integrated with existing geophysical, geological and geochemical datasets for the data package, which will be used to facilitate multidisciplinary use and ease of comparison between the various data types.

The data package includes the raw HyLogging data files, reprocessed HyLogging data, high resolution core images, a report summarising the technical components of the data reprocessing and a copy of the software required to view and export the data.

The core samples were analysed using robotic Hylogging instruments, provided under the AuScope-funded national virtual core library project through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.

The facilities use reflectance spectroscopy to determine the mineral composition of the drill core samples, Geoscience Australia said.