Three people looking at a model.

CSIRO is using geoscience to secure a sustainable energy future.

Petroleum geoscience: meeting energy exploration and production challenges

The oil and gas industry is at the cusp of significant changes with tightening supply necessitating significant technological innovation from geoscientists.

  • 30 November 2009 | Updated 14 October 2011

In this article

  1. Petroleum geoscience
  2. Facilities
  3. How CSIRO uses it
  4. Accessing the capability

Petroleum geoscience

Page 1 of 4

Large offshore regions of Australia remain lightly explored and ongoing research efforts are helping to maximise recovery from our producing petroleum reservoirs.

CSIRO enhances integrated petroleum solutions using system analysis and reservoir characterisation technology to reduce risks associated with exploration, development and production.

Areas of expertise

Our research capabilities in petroleum geoscience are directed towards refining integrated petroleum systems analysis and reservoir characterisation in order to reduce exploration, development and production risks. Our capabilities encompass geology, petrology, geochemistry, geophysics and geomechanics.

CSIRO offers a wide range of complementary skills and services in geoscience.

  • Stratigraphy and sedimentology: using strontium isotope stratigraphy, a high resolution chronostratigraphic tool, to develop a more precise sedimentation history of petroleum-bearing basins and facilitate the discovery of petroleum reservoirs.

    Read more about our Strontium isotope stratigraphy service for petroleum exploration.
  • Fluid inclusion technologies and fluid history analysis: developing and applying innovative techniques to investigate the origin and evolution of fluids, including oil and gas within sedimentary basins at geological and production time scales by analysing rocks and associated fluids at the micro-scale.

    Read more in our Petroleum geoscience: Fluid history analysis brochure.
  • Geophysics: providing insight into reservoir fluid and dynamic processes using industry seismic and electromagnetic data with expertise in quantitative interpretation, 3D and 4D seismic, rock physics experiments and theory plus modelling of coupled processes.

    Read more in Geophysics: aiding mineral and petroleum exploration research.
  • Hydrodynamics: characterising, quantifying and predicting hydrodynamic processes in the subsurface for applications such as fault and seal capacity for oil, gas and carbon dioxide hydrocarbon migration; depletion studies; geological storage of carbon dioxide (CO2); submarine groundwater discharge and geothermal energy.

    Read our Petroleum geoscience: Hydrodynamics brochure.
Our capabilities in geoscience exploration and appraisal allow us to apply innovative solutions to industry challenges.
  • Geological modelling: computational and physical, including seismic modelling of sedimentary sequences as basis for exploration.
  • Organic geochemistry: conducting research into the molecular and isotopic composition of source rocks, oils and gases for reservoir geochemistry, source rock quality and thermal maturity evaluation, and environmental geochemistry.

    Our organic geochemistry underpins research into natural gas distributions, sources of oil and gas, non-hydrocarbon avoidance and fluid prediction, coal seam gas exploration and production, as well as carbon capture and storage applications.

    Read our Petroleum geoscience: Organic and isotope geochemistry brochure.
  • Organic petrology: conducting research and services with an emphasis on petroleum source rock evaluation and coal characterisation for gas production and geological storage of CO2.

    Read our Petroleum geoscience: Organic petrology brochure.
  • Petrophysics: determining and interpreting the physical properties of rocks focused on characterising the production performance of petroleum reservoirs.

    Find out more about our Dielectric services and facilities.
  • Structural geology: understanding the deformation history of petroleum-bearing sedimentary sequences to predict both the occurrence and integrity of petroleum reservoirs.
  • Rock mechanics: combining rock mechanics, rock physics and petrophysics capabilities, using both experimental and modelling approaches to undertake research and testing for exploration, development and production scenarios in the petroleum industry as well as for unconventional gas, geothermal energy and geological storage of CO2.

    Read about our Petroleum geoscience: rock mechanics expertise and facilities.