Abstract

The geology is summarised for an area encompassed by the Outer Banda Arc and the Papua Fold Belt to the north, and by the Australian Shield to the south.

The relationships between the stable Australian continent, the Southeast Asia overthrust zone and the intervening sedimentary basins are discussed.

A variety of basin types are present. Exploration to date has been most rewarding in the Mesozoic coastal pull-apart basins of the Australian Northwest Shelf.

Further hydrocarbon-producing provinces should be defined with continuing exploration. Upper Tertiary to Pleistocene peri-orogenic basins are considered particularly attractive. The allochthonous regions also have potential.

Résumé

On donne un aperçu géologique de la zone s'étendant depuis l'Arc Externe de Banda et la ceinture plissée de Papua au Nord jusqu'au bouclier Australien au Sud.

On discute les relations entre le continent Australien stable, la zone de chevauchement du Sud-Est Asiatique et les bassins sédimentaires intermédiaires.

Différents types de bassins sont représentés. Jusqu'à maintenant les bassins côtiers Mesozoïques de rupture de la plateforme Nord-Ouest Australienne ont été les plus rémunérateurs pour la recherche pétrolière.

Cependant la poursuite de l'exploration devrait mettre en évidence d'autres provinces pétrolières. Dans cette optique les bassins périorogéniques, Tertiaire supérieur à Pleistocène, semblent particulièrement interessants.

Les régions allochtones présentent aussi des possibilités.

1. INTRODUCTION

The area covered broadly comprises the region lying between the stable Australian craton and the highly tectonised southeastern part of the Indonesian island arc regime, and is bounded to the south by the present continental coastline of Australia. The northwestern limit is ill-defined in the region south of latitude 123, as deep water has so far discouraged exploration in this direction. Northwards, to approximately latitude 4"S, it is bounded by the front of the Outer Banda Arc.

The Irian Jaya/Papua New Guinea foothills belt and the positive Cape York-Oriomo Ridge feature of the Carpentaria Basin are taken as the northern and eastern limits, respectively. The basic geologic framework is shown in Fig. i(a), and Fig. l(b) is a location map.

The sinuous nature of the region is primarily due to the trends of major subduction zones which have by M. J. W. LOFTING, A. CROSTELLA and J. W. HALSE, Burmah Oil Company of Australia Ltd, 10 Stirling Highway, Nedlands, Western Australia 6009, Australia accommodated relative movement of the Australian plate both westwards and northwards. A variety of sedimentary basin types is present. These range from intra-cratonic Palaeozoic basins to Mesozoic coastal basins developed along a cratonic margin, stable Tertiary shallow-water carbonate basins, and Upper Tertiary peri-orogenic clastic ba

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