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Gulf of Papua Prospectivity Study

Gulf of Papua Prospectivity Study

Papua New Guinea has become one of the world’s most exciting exploration regions, with significant petroleum potential in the Gulf of Papua and its Northern Basins. Modern seismic data has enabled deeper imaging of distinctive tectonic packages and basement which has been utilised in the studies leading to the identification of several play types that have not been previously recognized. The Gulf of Papua is an incredibly large area covering over 187,000 sqkm, with only 27 wildcat exploration wells isolated to the shallow water, the region remains highly underexplored. 

Searcher Seismic is offering an integrated multidisciplinary study of the hydrocarbon prospectivity across the entire Gulf of Papua by utilising Searcher's GoP datasets. The Gulf of Papua Prospectivity Study was undertaken by Discover Geoscience and consists of five sections; Sequence Stratigraphic Framework, Tectonostratigraphic Elements, Facies and EOD Mapping, Charge Modelling and Play Concepts & Leads Inventory. 

The Sequence Stratigraphic Framework consists of sixteen representative wells which have been reviewed for biostratigraphy, lithology, log character, hydrocarbon shows, trap configuration, rates of deposition and likely reason for failure. The post well analysis led to the development of a chronostratigraphy of the Gulf as well as, with the assistance of the seismic data, a detailed sequence stratigraphic framework. 

A tectonostratigraphic elements map of the Gulf of Papua has been created in order to accurately define the individual provinces and sub-provinces of the Gulf. This map was created by mapping approximately 10,000 faults and then condensing those into the major fault, horst and graben trends. Sub basin areas have also been modelled showing varying maturities, volumes and timing of charge expulsion. 

A modified Ramsayer method of seismic facies mapping was employed to each of the key chronostratigraphic packages across the Gulf of Papua. The facies mapping was combined with well analysis to produce Environment of Deposition Maps across five key chronostratigraphic intervals.  

An extensive 1D Basin Modelling study was conducted across the Gulf of Papua. The modelling provided a crustal heatflow model, maturity and burial history through time, as well as source rock modelling, expulsion curves and generated hydrocarbon volumes. 

A great number of play concepts and new play types have been identified as well as an extensive inventory of leads have developed across the area. 

The Gulf of Papua study has identified multiple reservoir seal pairs, play types and leads across all areas of the gulf. Basin modelling shows good potential for large volumes of hydrocarbons to have been generated and expelled across most of the vast Gulf of Papua. 

The study has revealed exciting new potential by highlighting significant prospectivity in this frontier region. Synchronization of high-quality seismic data and regional studies has enabled comprehensive play identification in the GOP and Northern Basins. 

The Gulf of Papua Perspectivity Study is available alongside the underlying Gulf of Papua Seismic database. 

For more information, please contact us at

Project Parameters


Formation Tops for 16 wells reviewed 


TWT and Depth maps of five key horizons 

Isochron maps 

Environment of Deposition maps at five key ages 

Lead Concepts 

Geoseismic Sections 

Regional Structural Elements Map 

Infill Basement Mapping 

3D Mapping 

1D Basin Modelling 

Interpretation of Davaria survey results 

2D and 3D Lead Portfolio 

Seismic Example

Projects Partners