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No commercial oil field has been discovered in Australia but this must be related to the very small amount of exploration that has been undertaken and the deficiencies in knowledge about the sedimentary basins. Outcrop geology of the sedimentary basins in Australia is known only up to regional reconnaissance detail, and the limits of few basins are precisely known. The complete stratigraphic sequence and its variations are known adequately in few basins and the geological history in none. About 1 million feet of exploration drilling has been completed in the whole of Australia and Papua-New Guinea with a total basin area of about 1,480,000 square miles.
The regional structure is indicated but not precisely established in the Fitzroy basin, Carnarvon basin and Perth basin (W.A.), Sydney basin (N.S.W.), Papua basin (P.N.G.) and the Great Artesian basin. Much of the structure, both regional and local, is of the synchronous type and surface anticlines do not necessarily continue downwards below unconformities. Petroleum source beds and shows are known in many basins but the geological conditions for accumulation have not been established. Much more information is required on the relationships among sedimentation, structure, and possible migration paths of oil.
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