PESA NEWS – OUT NOWThe latest issue of the PESA NEWS magazine is now available for members. Click here to access it.
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

LIVE WEBINAR – Old basins with salt: why Australia is well-placed in the search for combined hydrocarbon-helium gas systems

Tuesday, 3 November, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm (Australia/Perth time)

Free – $10.00

To view the event video and associated handouts (if any), please either log in to your active PESA membership account or enter the event password you received when you registered for this event.

Guest Speaker(s): Peter Haines

Peter Haines graduated with Honours (1982) and PhD (1987) degrees in geology from the University of Adelaide. He has previously held positions at the Northern Territory Geological Survey and Universities of South Australia, Adelaide and Tasmania. He joined the Geological Survey of Western Australia in 2003, currently holding title of Basins Custodian within the Energy Geoscience and Carbon Strategy Branch. His current research interests include the stratigraphy, sedimentology, biostratigraphy and petroleum (and helium) potential of the Amadeus, Officer and Canning basins. He is a member of PESA and the Geological Society of Australia.

Kindly supported by Rock Flow dynamics


This live webinar will take place at:

11am              – Perth
12.30pm        – Darwin
1pm                – Brisbane
1:30pm          – Adelaide
2pm                – Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Sydney

Use the calendar link on this page to add this event in to your own calendar at the correct local time for your location.

Tickets are free for members (please log in to see this) and $10 for non members.

Please buy your tickets and immediately follow the link in the ticket e-mail (not the calendar invite or this webpage, which is just generic and not event specific) to set up your registration with the webinar software well in advance of the time of the talk. Once registered with the webinar software you will receive a reminder e-mail 1 hour beforehand.



Old basins with salt: why Australia is well-placed in the search for combined hydrocarbon-helium gas systems

Presented by Peter Haines



Helium is a scarce strategic element with a wide range of high-tech uses. Helium is typically extracted as a minor by-product from gas wells, with the United States being the largest producer. While some helium has an ultimate mantle source, much of the helium in sedimentary basins is derived from radioactive decay of uranium and thorium in the basement, or within the basin itself. Accumulation is very slow and trapping is difficult, so rich accumulations (>1% He) favour old basins with excellent seals, or recent remobilisation from such reservoirs. Components of the Centralian Superbasin, including the Amadeus and Officer basins, contain an early Neoproterozoic (c. 800 Ma) evaporite succession with extensive salt seals near the base of the succession. Although older salt deposits are known, these are perhaps the oldest preserved on a basin-wide scale. At least locally, the salt overlies gas-prone source rocks and sandstone that could act as a reservoir. Drilling through salt to basement in two wells in the eastern Amadeus Basin resulted in gas flows with exceptional helium contents of 6% and 9%. One well also flowed 11% hydrogen, although the mechanism for hydrogen generation and preservation is unclear. Although uneconomic due to reservoir limitations, these wells demonstrate a subsalt hydrocarbon system, and the integrity of salt-sealed traps to accumulate helium over the life of the basin. Similar traps are likely elsewhere in the Amadeus Basin, in parts of the Officer Basin, and potentially in other components of the Centralian Superbasin and Adelaide Rift Complex. Australia currently produces some helium from the offshore Bonaparte Basin, but its legacy of old salt-bearing basins onshore puts it in an ideal position to become a more significant player in the world helium market.


Tuesday, 3 November, 2020
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
(Australia/Perth time)
Free – $10.00
Event Categories:
  • Venue

    The internet Australia

    Registration Details

    Please select the number of tickets you wish to purchase and then press the "Get Tickets" button.


    The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
    Non member
    $ 10.00 inc GST