Course Development and Details

The PGNWS course has been in planning for several years but other commitments made for a long gestation period! Peter and Ian worked on the course preparation in late 2017 and early 2018, preparing slides and developing the presentation. Over 2000 slides were prepared initially and then edited down to about 1200, which now form the core of the 3-day course. About 6 man-months was involved in the preparation.

The first course was run in May 2018 and was well received.

“Epic piece of work pulling all this together and sharing it with industry. A lot of years of experience pulled together into one course. Young ones came back to office today gushing with enthusiasm, which is very much what it is all about.” Jeff Goodall Carnarvon Petroleum

“A useful and much needed addition to training in the region.” Peter Baillie, CGG Perth

“I was lucky enough to attend this course and highly recommend it to anyone working the NWS.” Matt Kovacevic, Chevron

The course will be presented annually commencing in 2019, when it will be run prior to the Australian Exploration Geoscience Conference (AEGC) in Perth, WA, 2-5 September 2019 (see so we are targeting 26-28th August 2019 for the next course dates (with the NW Shelf Core Workshop planned for the 29-30th August so that geologists can do both courses if they are game). In subsequent years the PGNWS course will be presented either independently or co-incident with a conference such as APPEA (when hosted in Perth every 3 years) or PESA symposia (if relevant to the NW Shelf).

By arrangement, it is also possible to run a proprietary course for a company or small group of associated companies, as Ian has done with the PGSEA course. The in-house course can be the full technical training course or a shorter format, subject to a confidentiality agreement and involving discussion of the petroleum geology and available opportunities in the context of the company’s exploration and growth strategies.

PGNWS 3 day Course Structure

Day 1


  • Introduction to North West Shelf, tectonic, physiographic, metocean, cultural and environmental setting
  • Legal and regulatory framework- maritime jurisdiction, Federal and State authorities, permit systems, etc.
  • Data access and sources
  • Regional Petroleum Geology and Petroleum Systems Overview, North West Shelf


  • Carnarvon Basin , Early Days, regional geology, exploration patterns and timelines, oil and gas discoveries

Day 2


  • Carnarvon Basin (continued) – opportunities & future exploration focus areas and plays
  • Roebuck (Offshore Canning) Basin- Petroleum systems, plays and discoveries , emphasising Bedout Sub-basin


  • Browse Basin – petroleum systems, exploration history , oil and gas discoveries, opportunities, future focus areas and plays

Day 3


  • Bonaparte Basin – petroleum systems, exploration history , oil and gas discoveries


  • Bonaparte Basin – opportunities, future exploration focus areas and plays
  • Current Regional Synopsis, Yet to Find Estimates and Future Exploration Potential
  • Environmental challenges and constraints
  • Wrap-up – Q&A – Feedback

The presentations are complimented with large-scale seismic interpretation exercises, using lines donated by seismic contractors and oil companies.


Course Objectives

The objectives of the course are to provide the attendees with and understanding of

  • the tectonic, physiographic, social and environmental setting of the NWS
  • the regional structural framework and tectonic development
  • the marine jurisdiction and legislation, and the permitting/award/work program systems
  • the history of exploration
  • the development of the stratigraphic concepts and nomenclature
  • the phases of exploration and the interplay with developing technologies
  • the main discoveries and plays
  • the current status of exploration and the future potential
  • the social and environmental challenges and constraints

Course Costs and Deliverables

Course costs are currently A$2500/person, with a 10% discount for PESA members, and a 20% discount for companies sending 5 or more people to a course.

A set of PDFs with all slides used in the course is provided at the start of the course. Typically, attendees review the slides on their laptop or take notes as the slides are presented. These slides have a watermark over the images for our IP protection. Hard copies of the slide sets are not provided, for reasons of cost. There are no course notes provided. A digital copy of the reference list compiled by the presenters is also provided.

Testing Barrow-1, 1964 – Murray Johnstone Collection, WA State Library

Testing Roc-2, 2017 – Carnarvon Petroleum Website