Postgraduate Profiles

Carol Butland

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Thesis: Geological Characterisation of shale-gas reservoirs of the Cadda Terrace, Northern Perth Basin, Western Australia

Australia has remained essentially unexplored with respect to shale gas. Recent exploration activity in Australia has focused on source rocks from productive petroleum basins, e.g. Perth Basin. The Woodada gas field was discovered in 1980, and has been one of the most productive onshore gas fields of WA. Renewed interest in shales in this area provides an opportunity to undertake detailed studies of the characteristics of these rocks.

The objective of this project is to establish the Permian to Early Triassic depositional history of the Cadda Terrace, Northern Perth Basin within a sequence-stratigraphic framework, and to assess the role of depositional processes and burial history in controlling reservoir quality of major shale intervals. The project will compare and contrast three important stratigraphic intervals: the Early Permian Irwin River Coal Measures; Early Permian Carynginia Formation; and the Early Triassic Kockatea Shale. Detailed sedimentological analysis of core, alongside inorganic and organic geochemical and petrographic analysis will be the basis for this work.

Why my research is important

Research from shale-gas reservoirs overseas has shown the variation of key parameters (TOC, kerogen type, thermal maturity, grain composition, rock fractures) between basins, and the importance of understanding basins on an individual level. The anticipated outcome of this study is to establish depositional and post-depositional history and controls on reservoir quality in shale-gas resources in the North Perth Basin, to aid in successful exploration targeting of these reservoirs.


Apr 2011

Apr 2020