MGPalaeo’s AUSTRALIS® geological database provides the most up-to-date interpretation of geological data that exists, covering more than 2500 Australian wells using one consistent zonation scheme.

“An innovative stratigraphic database that gives the geoscientist the competitive advantage to identify new hydrocarbon accumulations and high grade prospective exploration acreage.” [Carnarvon Petroleum, 2016]

The AUSTRALIS geological database contains comprehensively interpreted geological data for all exploration and many development/appraisal wells across the North West Shelf of Australia (including offshore Timor-Leste), Perth, Otway, Gippsland, and Bass basins (with more basins to come).

While there is a wealth of geological data freely available through government websites (e.g.  Geoscience Australia (GA), Western Australian Petroleum and Geothermal Information Management System (WAPIMS), etc.), the AUSTRALIS geological database is the only quality-controlled database containing consistent, fully-reviewed and reinterpreted palynological and lithostratigraphical data, with detailed sequence stratigraphic frameworks for entire basins.

The data for each well within the AUSTRALIS geological database has been fully reviewed, updated, and standardized, then tested against seismic to ensure the consistency and accuracy of interpretations with offset wells. This provides a robust framework on which to build your geological models, improving efficiency and adding value through the knowledge that the data has been carefully quality-controlled every step of the way.

Every exploration well at your fingertips, available in an easy to use format and with all interpretations based upon the most up-to-date palynological data:

  • biostratigraphy (reinterpreted/updated to one consistent zonation scheme)
  • standardized lithostratigraphy
  • regional sequence stratigraphic framework
  • wireline logs (edited and spliced)
  • Geochemistry, checkshot survey, deviation data, casing points, cores, and more

Selected datasets are available in tabulated format (i.e., .dat, .txt, or .csv as required), with log data provided as .las format. These formats can be easily imported into many software programs such as ODM/IC, Petrel, Kingdom, etc. Alternatively, we can work with you to ensure the data is formatted in the way that works best for importing into your internal database.

The data for each well has also been independently tested through 2D and 3D seismic mapping by Carnarvon Petroleum geologists to ensure accuracy.

All new explorations wells will be added as soon as they become open-file.

AUSTRALIS geological database - MGPalaeo
An example of the well data available for all wells in the AUSTRALIS geological database

Central to our database, and one of its key advantages that separates it from all other databases, is the strength of the biostratigraphy, a cornerstone to any sound geological model. All palynological data has been reviewed and updated to one zonation scheme (the industry standard MGP 2014) by experienced palynologists. Such a consistent dataset is crucial when building geological models, providing greater confidence in lithostratigraphic and sequence stratigraphic picks, and correlations between wells.

The database is available in its entirety or as data subsets that best fit your needs (i.e., the offshore Otway Basin, a Vulcan Sub-basin pack, offshore Timor-Leste, a Beagle & Bedout sub-basins Triassic pack, or even just as a single well). Contact us via Email ([email protected]) or Phone (08 9249 4628) and let us know your requirements.

And if you subscribe to the AUSTRALIS geological database, not only will we send you all the latest palynological data and updated interpretations for your purchased wells as it becomes available, but we will also provide additional studies conducted specifically for you.

MGPalaeo's AUSTRALIS geological database
MGPalaeo’s AUSTRALIS geological database offers reviewed and updated geological data for more than 2000 wells across the North West Shelf (click to enlarge).

Frequently Asked Questions

There is a wealth of data freely available through government websites such as WAPIMS or GA. So why not just download this instead of having to pay?

If someone took the data from open file datasets and integrated that into their geological models, they would end up with different biozone assignments for the vast majority of wells to what we have in the AUSTRALIS database. As a result, sequence stratigraphic picks and even lithostratigraphic picks would greatly differ, too.

Consistent, quality-controlled data is a vital asset of all businesses, growing in importance every year. Big data enables more informed decisions to be made effectively, helping to reduce costs while improving profits – but only with proper QC and standardization of the data first.

To build an accurate geological model centred on a robust sequence stratigraphic framework, accurate, quality-controlled, and consistent geological data is a vital component – and this is not available from the open file datasets.

If a high-resolution sequence stratigraphic framework were developed utilizing current open-source data (palynology, lithostratigraphy, wireline logs), this would lead to erroneous geological modelling for many wells, as:

  • Prior to the 1990s, palynological analysts rarely produced quantitative data.
  • Palynological zones have changed over time and are not standardised.
  • Different palynological analysts have used a mixture of zonation schemes.
  • Different companies have used different lithostratigraphic names and definitions for the same units.

There have been several palynological zonation schemes utilized across Australia in the past, built by different consultants or companies (ie, HMP97, Helby 2001, MHI 2002, HMP 2004, Partridge 2006, MGP 2014, etc); how do you then correlate the lower O. operculata zone as identified by different schemes, or the vast differences in the interpretation of the D. jurassicum / P. iehiense subzones of the Jurassic?

Furthermore, the R. aemula Dinocyst Zone would be common in reports older than 2014 but has since been superseded by the C. ancorum and V. tabulata zones, depending upon the fossil assemblages. Similar with the A. cinctum zone, now no longer used and incorporated into part of the M. australis zone. Is the Tr8Di zone the same as the M. crenulatus (D. harrisii subzone), or the W. spectabilis 6cibiiaii equivalent to the W. spectabilis ci? 

The above biozone inconsistencies have led to limits on the subzonal resolution achievable from the open-source biostratigraphic data, leading to limits on the resolution of any sequence stratigraphic framework that may be built using this current data.

The other benefit to the AUSTRALIS database is that we have been able to provide greater zonal resolution from a lot of open file interpretations, simply because the subzonal resolution hadn’t been developed at the time of analysis.

Even open file reports by the same analyst can benefit from a review, and we have revised many well interpretations using log profiles and offset well data, all of which allows us to see results more consistently.

Similar issues arise from the various terminology used for lithostratigraphic units in the past. Different companies have defined different rock units the same way, or have used different names for the same units. As such, without any kind of consistency in terminology or definition, no accurate correlations between wells, or on a basin-wide scale, can be made without first updating the data.

How is the database priced? Do I have to purchase the entire database?

Pricing of our AUSTRALIS database is dependent on the wells and data types you require. Rather than having to purchase the database in its entirety, or specific subsets put together by MGPalaeo, you are in full control of exactly what wells and data types you need.

For example, you could purchase just the palynological data and sequence stratigraphic picks from all wells starting with B from the entire North West Shelf if you wish, and we would provide a price just for those datasets.

We also offer discounted rates for the more wells/datasets that are purchased.

What is the Subscription option, or Maintenance?

With any database purchase, we include full support for 12 months (maintenance), so if there are any new datasets, or revisions to the interpretations during this time, we will provide these to you free of charge. We will also have a dedicated stratigrapher that will investigate any queries you have regarding the data, and work with you to ensure the best quality data possible.

This maintenance can be continued after the initial 12-month period for a small subscription fee; this fee varies depending upon the number of wells originally purchased. It is entirely optional though, and if you choose not to continue with the subscription, you just won’t get further updates.

Do all wells have up to date palynological data?

Yes. The palynological data for all wells has been internally reviewed by our team of experienced palynologists, and updated as necessary to our latest zonation scheme, MGP2014. This means there is consistency right across the board with naming conventions, zonal picks, and palaeoenvironmental interpretations. For some wells, this involved reviewing more than 20 reports of different vintages, and consolidating/updating all the data.

What formats do you have the palynological data in? Can we get zones and points, and are they the same price?

All palynological data comes as detailed point data (sample by sample) with zonal/sub-zonal intervals, all for the one price.

What exactly are the high res events and which wells have them?

High resolution palynological events are the first/last occurrences of certain species or changes in the abundance of certain species that help us define additional intra-zonal events and aid in well correlations. These have been picked out for key intervals in key areas, and we are adding more events all the time.

If there are wells or intervals from certain wells that you would like high res events from, please let us know and we can target those.

Do we get the palynological reports too?

No, although these can be provided as PDF’s for a small fee. They will be the open file reports as submitted to Government, so they may differ from our latest in-house interpretations that appear in the AUSTRALIS database.

Why don’t you have confidence ratings anymore?

Confidence ratings were an arbitrary value assigned to each sample based on different factors; as such, there was no internal consistency on how ratings were picked or defined. If we cannot pick a zonal age for a specific sample after reviewing all available palynological data, we won’t make a guess.

Does existing palynofacies come with the palynological data?

No. Palynofacies is usually only done as a specifically requested study – unless you are referring to the palaeoenvironmental interpretations, which are provided as part of the palynological dataset.

What sort of logs do you have and what format do they come in?

Wireline logs include both edited and unedited gamma ray, sonic, density, neutron porosity, and resistivity. These logs are provided in .las format.

The edited logs attempt to provide a consistent dataset for geological and geophysical studies. Editing includes validating the digital logs vs scanned images, splicing, removing any casing affect and bad reading, despiking, renaming logs to unique nomenclatures, and depth matching.

Where available, we have attempted to put together a set containing GR, DT, CALI, RHOB, DRHO, NPHI, deep, med and shallow resistivity. The aim here was to simplify making correlations, synthetic seismograms, well displays on 3D visualization, etc.

For petrophysical use, you would still require the raw data, which is what is usually available on NOPIMS. Some logs, such as shear sonic, PR, etc., have also been loaded but are unedited.

What format is Check-shot data in?

Check-shots are available as depth and one-way time in ascii format. We have also checked the time-depth curve and run an eye over the interval velocities to look for outliers.

What about the Deviation data?

Deviation is the actual survey points so generally depth, deviation, and azimuth in ascii format. Any wells with less than 5m difference in MD to TVD have been treated as vertical, so no deviation set will be loaded to our database; however, we can still supply this deviation data on request if the survey is available in the WCR.

How are your formations picked?

Lithostratigraphic interpretations are carried out by plotting our biostratigraphic dataset against the well logs. Consistency is achieved by comparing each well to numerous offset wells. Our team’s regional understanding, and visual observations in the core shed, also aids in our refinements.

What about your sequence stratigraphic picks?

The AUSTRALIS geological database contains regional play intervals and sequence stratigraphic picks based on the published Woodside scheme after Marshall & Lang (2013), and a modified Carnarvon Petroleum scheme (based on the Santos scheme). All the interpretations have been carried out by MGPalaeo stratigraphers utilizing our updated biostratigraphic data.

This dynamic database is constantly being reviewed and updated as new data becomes available; each data point is checked by skilled geologists before being incorporated into the database. The incorporation of high resolution localized palynological events to improve well-to-well correlations is one such addition.

MGPalaeo's AUSTRALIS geological database
MGPalaeo’s AUSTRALIS geological database offers reviewed and updated geological data for more than 2000 wells across the North West Shelf (click to enlarge).

What makes the AUSTRALIS geological database unique?

Our experience and expertise provide a key point of difference to any other database incorporating palynological data. Knowing which palynological zonation scheme was originally used during the drilling of a well is incredibly important, because there have been several schemes used over time, each compiled by different palynologists and with substantial differences, some with details more restricted to certain fields. Understanding how these zonation schemes correlate or how different zones have evolved over time is crucial in providing a consistent dataset that can be used to underpin robust geological models.

Our highly experienced palynologists have reviewed and updated all available open file data, incorporating 35 years’ worth of MGPalaeo’s in-house interpretations. Ongoing research allows us to continue to make refinements to well correlations through the development of high-resolution event-based palynology. One of the key advantages is that we are able to review and infill palynological data so the database is constantly evolving.

Furthermore, our highly experienced sedimentologist has provided quality control on a regional basis, contributing what has been physically observed in cores and working closely with our palynologists to compile a consistent geological model. As more core is logged, this information is likewise carried over into the database to refine and improve the data (a core database is currently under construction).

Originally commissioned by Carnarvon Petroleum over a 12 month period between 2016-2017, this ground-breaking database was to provide the latest interpretation of all available open-file stratigraphical data from all exploration wells across the Carnarvon, Roebuck, Browse, and Bonaparte Basins.

Management at Carnarvon Petroleum saw the advantages the larger oil companies gained from a comprehensive well database. Having confidence in their well data, in particular the sequence and lithostratigraphic picks, meant they could move quickly on seismic interpretations while a good understanding of the regional geology helped to evaluate plays and prospects. As consultant biostratigraphers, MGPalaeo also saw the advantages of having our own database. This has allowed us to refine biostratigraphic zonations by understanding the impacts of facies, biostratigraphic surfaces of regional significance, and identify areas which would benefit from review and infill.

The database build involved reviewing all palynology data and standardising the biostratigraphy to the latest zonation scheme. Lithostratigraphic nomenclature has likewise been standardized for each basin, and with the aid of wireline logs, regional sequence stratigraphic picks have been made. All of the data has been thoroughly tested against seismic data by geologists at Carnarvon Petroleum.

Since these initial days, we have been expanding our database to encompass other basins across Australia and Papua New Guinea.