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Vulcan 3D

The Vulcan 3D Reimaging Program is situated in the Bonaparte Basin adjacent to the North West Shelf, a world-class petroleum province with significant oily sweet spots. ION leverages the latest advancements in imaging technology, our regional BasinSPAN framework, and our proven track record in 3D reimaging to deliver 20,770 sq. km. of seamless multi-client data within the highly petroliferous Vulcan Sub-basin for existing stakeholders and upcoming acreage releases.


With 60% of resources yet undiscovered, Australia remains a huge untapped resource on the world energy market. With established Southeast Asia markets on their doorstep, Australia benefits from established trade markets for LNG and is a major contributor of LNG to the global market. The Westralia Superbasin has had an extremely complex and protracted tectonic history spanning the entire Phanerozoic, resulting in the formation of numerous basins and sub-basins with extremely thick sediment accumulations (up to ~20 km in places). The Vulcan Sub-basin is one of the most prospective parts of the Bonaparte Basin where oils are normally very light.

The Vulcan Sub-basin has proven oil and gas potential, with commercial production and sub-commercial discoveries. It is estimated that the Vulcan Sub-basin contains reserves of 357 MMbbl of oil, 31 MMbbl of Condensate, and and 1.3 Tcf of gas. It contains several oil fields including Skua, Swift, Swallow, Montara, Jabiru, Challis, Cassini and Puffin, along with the Cash-Maple, Swan and Crux gas fields. With multiple petroleum systems elements established and numerous well data available, Vulcan is a proven hydrocarbon bearing area that has suffered from poor imaging in the past.


The Vulcan Sub-basin is a Northeast-Southwest trending Mesozoic extensional depocenter in the western Bonaparte Basin and comprises a complex series of horst, grabens and terraces. The basin has accumulated ~9 km of sediment from Mesozoic – Recent times, with the regional SPAN data revealing an additional ~12 km of Paleozoic strata below the Mesozoic rift. Significant discoveries and shows are found throughout the Mesozoic – Recent sedimentary section. While Paleozoic source intervals are known from the Bonaparte Basin, the majority of discoveries to date within the Vulcan Sub-basin are charged from Mesozoic source intervals. The majority of the discoveries are found in structural traps bounded by rift faults or formed by compressional reactivation of rift faults. The stratigraphic play remains a potentially large prize that has thus far remained elusive, with additional Paleozoic potential yet to be tested.

Key Components

  • Reprocessing and reimaging of 17 existing surveys covering 20,770 sq. km.
  • Seamless depth imaging of vintage surveys across Vulcan Sub-basin and Nancar Trough
  • Incorporate ION’s regional knowledge gained from working WestraliaSPAN, the premier regional survey off NW Australia
  • Superior image quality obtained using a detailed anisotropic earth model and high-end PreSDM technology
  • Provide uplift in imaging and resolution in a complex area at greatly reduced acquisition costs

Vulcan Data Example

Example of ION reimaging, demonstrating greatly improved resolution and structural imaging.

Additional Resources