Assessing margin to prospect scale controls on hydrocarbon leakage and seepage

A study of hydrocarbon leakage and seepage has been carried out over the Bonaparte and northern Browse basins in the Timor Sea, North-West Shelf, Australia (Fig. 1) using satellite-based Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data. The SAR data have been integrated with regional geological data, open-file fault-seal analysis results and charge history investigations to provide a holistic assessment of the principal controls on seepage in the area. The study shows that, at a margin scale, seepage preferentially takes place at the edge of seal, in areas with generally thin seals, along major fault relay systems, and is associated with areas of strong Neogene subsidence. At a more localized scale, the study shows that the present day stress field plays a – perhaps the – key role in determining whether areas leak or not.

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