• March 3, 2020

1st AAPG-EAGE Papua New Guinea Petroleum Geoscience Conference and Exhibition 2020

Published on March 3rd, 2020

Download the latest presentation and abstract by CSA Global Consultant, Dr Rob Holm and co authors on the ‘Provenance and Tectonics of the Allochthonous New Guinea Terranes: Implications for the Formation and Evolution of Regional Basinsolm’ delivered at the recent 1ST AAPG-EAGE Papua New Guinea Petroleum Geoscience Conference and Exhibition between 25-27 February 2020 in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.


Provenance and Tectonics of the Allochthonous New Guinea Terranes: Implications for the Formation and Evolution of Regional Basins Robert Holm¹, Australia; David Gold*²; Lloyd White, Max Webb,³ ; Luke Mahoney⁴, Sandra McLaren⁵, Kelly Heilbronn⁶, Juergen Oesterle, Marcel Mizera⁷, Dulcie Saroa, Moira Lunge⁸, Sam Webber⁹ ¹CSA Global; ²CGG; United Kingdom; ³University of Wollongong; Australia; ⁴Oil Search; Australia; ⁵University of Melbourne; Australia; ⁶James Cook University; Australia; ⁷Victoria University of Wellington; New Zealand; ⁸Mineral Resources Authority; Papua New Guinea; ⁹Aurecon; Australia.

*Presenting Author: David Gold; david.gold@cgg.com; +44 (0) 1492 581811


Papua New Guinea resides in a complex tectonic junction between the Australian continent, the Southwest Pacific, and Southeast Asia. Resolving the plate tectonic evolution and basin history of this region has proven difficult to date due to the plethora of contradicting geologic models that stem from a lack of constraining regional datasets. A growing body of geochronologic, geochemical and isotopic data acquired over the past decade has led to a progressive shift from a largely autochthonous terrane model, to one of continental breakup, allochthonous terranes and late Cenozoic terrane accretion. Findings from a compilation of regional zircon and biostratigraphic age data provide a robust evidence-based provenance model that confirms many of the terranes are allochthonous in nature and indicates that existing tectonic reconstructions require major revision.

Material and methodology

Zircon U-Pb geochronologic data for this study includes new results from the Papuan Peninsula, combined with regional datasets from PNG, eastern Australia, New Caledonia and West Papua (Fig. 1; Blewitt et al., 1998; Van Wyck and Williams, 2002; Kopi et al., 2004; Murgulov et al., 2007; Bodorkos et al., 2013; Tucker et al., 2013, 2016; Decker et al., 2017; Shaanan et al., 2017; Campbell et al., 2018; Holm and Poke, 2018; Webb et al., 2019). The compiled geochronologic data includes zircon grains derived from sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks with a known context. For example, the new Papuan Peninsula provenance samples comprise Miocene-Pliocene volcanic and volcaniclastic samples where inherited zircon grains are derived from the underlying Owen Stanley Metamorphics.

Biostratigraphic data from wells in PNG were compared to wells in Australia, Papua and West Papua (Fig. 1). Well information was accessed through Geoscience Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Information Management System (NOPIMS) and compared to public domain stratigraphic information from regional basins, namely the Salawati, Bintuni, Papuan, Laura, Carpentaria, Eromanga and Surat Basins (Visser and Hermes, 1962; Day, 1969; Haig, 1979; Chevallier and Bordenave, 1986; Carman, 1993; Tucker et al., 2013). In total, 43 exploration wells were reviewed for this study, including six wells from the Bintuni Basin, three wells from the Salawati Basin, 23 wells from PNG and seven from Australia.

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Robert Holm


Robert Holm is a Principal Consultant at CSA Global, an Adjunct Lecturer at James Cook University, and founder of the Papua New Guinea Geoscience Network. He has expertise in PNG tectonics and draws from a diverse background encompassing both the minerals and oil and gas sectors. Robert unravels complex tectonic settings to deliver integrated geological solutions, employing multidisciplinary methods that include, but are not limited to, structural geology and geodynamics, geophysical interpretation, petrology, geochemistry, and geochronology.

David Gold


David Gold is a biostratigrapher and carbonate sedimentologist working for CGG in North Wales, UK. David completed a PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London in 2014 conducting research for the Southeast Asia Research Group (SEARG). His research for SEARG focused on Neogene carbonates and basin formation in West Papua, Indonesia. David joined CGG in 2014 where he further specialised in the regional geology of sub-tropical regions including Southeast Asia (Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea and Thailand). David is a member of the Papua New Guinea Geoscience Network.

1st PNG Petroleum Geoscience Conference & Exhibition

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