Home / Our Science / Energy Futures / Oil and Gas / Research / Petroleum Basin Research

Petroleum Basin Research

GNS Science scientists with oil company representatives on the North Taranaki Coast. Image Peter King, GNS Science.

GNS Science scientists with oil company representatives on the North Taranaki Coast. Image Peter King, GNS Science

Development of baseline knowledge and innovative concepts on the structure, stratigraphy, and depositional systems of New Zealand’s sedimentary basins, to underpin and substantiate predictive models of petroleum prospectivity. This research comprises several key aspects of study listed below. 

  • Stratigraphy – Dominic Strogen.Depositional facies, sedimentary systems and stratigraphic architecture of New Zealand’s sedimentary basins.
  • ReservoirsGreg Browne. Multi-disciplinary studies of key stratigraphic intervals with proven or possible reservoir potential.
  • Frontier Basins - Kyle Bland. Tectonic and stratigraphic development of frontier areas of Zealandia to develop a better understanding of the productivity of these basins. 
  • 4DT Seismic Mapping - Karsten Kroeger. Development of a new, industry-standard, technologically advanced petroleum geoscience atlas, comprising a compendium of maps and derivative 3D static models that illustrate the evolution of basin structure and stratigraphy of Taranaki Basin through geological time.
  • Geomechanics, Faults, and Seals - Improving understanding of the impact of faults and fluids in controlling the occurrence of oil and gas in sedimentary basins.
  • Reconstructing Zealandia - Zmap - Dominic Strogen. Multi-disciplinary project to reconstruct the tectonic evolution and paleogeography of the New Zealand continent from prior to Gondwana break up to the present day, in spatial forma. 
  • Taranaki Basin 4dt gird

    4D Taranaki – Modelling - Karsten Kroeger.
    The 4D Taranaki project aims at developing a new high resolution digital subsurface atlas that will improve the understanding of the timing, distribution, and composition of sediments deposited in the Taranaki Basin since the Late Cretaceous (~100 Million years ago). The project is designed to reconstruct the rapid changes in the basin’s evolution and to better illustrate its complex structure. Results are used to improve the understanding of the evolution of the petroleum system and to assess the prospectivity of the basin. By reconstructing the basin’s evolution through time, the interplay between petroleum generation and migration into traps will be analysed. This will assist with the exploration for petroleum vital to New Zealand’s economy.

    The dataset is developed using tens of thousands of line kilometres of seismic reflection data and information from 50-plus petroleum wells and will cover an area of 55,000km2 .  Resulting models will have a time resolution of ca. 1–4 Myr since 23 Ma and ca. 5–10 Myr prior to that time and a spatial resolution of 100–1000 m. The output of the project will be available as time structure, depth structure and isopach maps on Petroleum Basin Explorer and various derivative reports and publications.

  • Carbon SequestrationRob Funnell. Development of New Zealand research skills in CO2 storage, determination of CO2 storage capacity and potential locations, and risk assessment, work has been done in conjunction with CO2CRC and a list of joint publications can be found on their website.

Oil and gas research outputs and outcomes