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PESA WA Technical October lunch talk- Old basins with salt: why Australia is well-placed in the search for combined hydrocarbon-helium gas systems

Thursday, 15 October, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm (Australia/Perth time)

$39 – $99

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.

Hosted with thanks to our Platinum Sponsors TGS:

And our Gold Sponsors DUG, Searcher Seismic,  Katalyst Data Management and PetroDip



PESA WA invites you to our October technical luncheon on Thursday 15th October

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.

Ticket Prices:

Member (Early Bird): $69.00

Concession Member [Retired, Graduate or Hardship] (Early Bird): $59.00

Student Member (Early Bird): $39.00

Non-Member: $99.00

Member (Non-Early Bird): $79.00.

Early bird pricing ends Monday  at 5pm (AWST). All ticket sales close at 5pm Tuesday.

Refund Policy: Refunds are only applicable if notified in writing to WA-secretary@pesa.com.au prior to the close of ticket sales.


Thursday, 15 October, 2020
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
(Australia/Perth time)
$39 – $99
Event Categories:
  • Venue

    Pan Pacific Perth
    207 Adelaide Terrace,
    Perth, wa 6000 Australia
    + Google Map
    (08) 9224 7777

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