Mitsui E&P Australia (MEPAU) is proposing to undertake two airborne exploration surveys over three of our onshore Perth Basin permits (EP455, L4/L5) located in the Shire of Coorow and Shire of Carnamah during June and July 2020 (see map).

EDIT 2 : The Airborne Exploration surveys are scheduled to commence from 26 October. 

EDIT 1: The Airborne Exploration Surveys have been rescheduled to mid-September to mid-October. Feedback from local farmers indicated this will better fit with their farming activities.

A small aircraft will be used to conduct each of the surveys during daylight hours. Each survey will take approximately a week to complete.

The aircraft will fly over a mix of private agricultural land and some conservation estate, however given the activity is entirely airborne, there will not be any significant impacts. There is no requirement for any person associated with the survey to have ground access in the permit areas before or during the airborne survey.

Local stakeholders and land managers have been contacted for feedback on the proposed surveys as part of the regulatory approvals process and to help with survey planning.

Types of Surveys

The first survey using a Cessna C208 is a Gravity Gradiometry survey, in which small local changes in the earth’s gravity field are measured. Experts will also use this information to understand the subsurface geological units and structures.

The aircraft undertaking this survey will fly 150 m above ground level at a speed of 120 knots (220 km/hour), with survey lines spaced approximately 500 m apart.

The second survey is an Aeromagnetic/Radiometric survey, in which a magnetometer mounted in a tail stinger of a Cessna C210 will measure the intensity of the magnetic field across the survey area. This will allow geophysicists to create a map showing the underground geological structure. The radiometric data will be used to assist with mapping the surface geology and soils.

The aircraft undertaking this survey will fly 60 metres (m) above ground level at a speed of 120 knots (220 km/hour), with survey lines spaced in a 200 m x 2 km grid.

EDIT 4 : The Gravity Gradiometry Survey, which is flown at the higher level, commenced Thursday, 29 October.

The Aeromagnetic/Radiometric survey, which is flown at the lower level, is scheduled to begin the second week of November. 

Expert help

MEPAU has commissioned Searcher Seismic Pty Ltd (Searcher) to assist with the project planning, regulatory approvals and management of the airborne data acquisition. Searcher and MEPAU have a history of effectively conducting surveys in Western Australia with successful environmental outcomes attained from rigorous operating rules, environmental risk assessment, planning and management.

The proposed activity is regulated by the Department of Mines, Industry, Resources and Safety (DMIRS). An Environment Plan will be lodged with DMIRS.

EDIT 3: The Environment Plan has been approved by DMIRS.

If you have any feedback, comments or questions about the proposed airborne exploration survey, please let us know (E: mepau@searcherseismic.com, Ph: 9327 0301, Website: searcherseismic.com/stakeholderfeedback).

MEPAU Airborne Exploration Survey - Map of planned airborne survey area

Figure: Map of planned airborne survey area

Updated Airborne Survey Flyer

Download a copy of the latest Consultation Update Notification flyer.

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The Northern Perth Basin

The northern Perth Basin is a prolific oil and gas producing area covering a large portion of the Mid West region of Western Australia. The town of Dongara, located approximately 360km north of Perth, is the regional economic hub for a number of industries, including oil and gas.