Offshore oil and gas

Our research focuses on understanding subsea geology and enabling the safe, efficient and sustainable development of Australia’s offshore resources.

The Challenge

Unlocking oil and gas reservoirs

Offshore oil and gas plays a critical part in Australia’s energy needs. Despite the vast majority of our supply currently coming from our marine territory, our deep sea remains relatively unexplored. With only 12 per cent of Australia’s marine territories properly mapped, there is still much to learn.

Large offshore regions of Australia remain lightly explored and ongoing research efforts are helping to maximise recovery from our producing petroleum reservoirs. Our biggest challenge is finding ways to access gas reserves in very deep water, also known as stranded gas. Offshore exploration and operation also present unique technical challenges which require specialised innovation.

Petronas: Petronas is an example of just one of our successful business partnerships

Show transcript

[CSIRO logo appears with text: We asked CSIRO]

[Upbeat music plays with rapid image flashes of various factory equipment and employees in a water tank]

Petronas is the national oil and gas company in Malaysia.

[Image changes to Dr Leong Kok Hoong of Petronas]

We asked CSIRO to help us way back in 2007. We approached them and explained to them about our problems.

[Image changes to employees working with pipeline]

Pipeline and rises, as you can imagine, are critical assets for our business.

[Image changes back to Dr Leong Kok Hoong]

So we spend a lot of time and effort ensuring that they run smoothly and there are no unplanned shutdowns.

[Image changes to pipe being repaired in water tank]

[Image changes back to Dr Leong Kok Hoong]

We needed to repair our pipelines underwater, but unfortunately there were no systems that would allow us to take these repairs subsea.

[Image changes to show resin being applied to small pipe in a tub]

CSIRO came up with a resin that would allow us to incorporate engineering fibres into it. With the engineering fibres and resin, we were able to have a composite material that we can take subsea.

[Image changes back to Dr Leong Kok Hoong]

And we applied it in our rises in one of our offshore platforms.

[Image changes to show an offshore platform]

[Camera pans to show aerial view of oil refinery]

Since then, we have commercialised the product and in the last two years we have applied this new repair system in our operations, in over twenty operating units.

[Image changes back to Dr Leong Kok Hoong]

[Image changes to show employees conducting repairs in water tank]

Although currently we are targeting the application in the oil and gas industry, we are actually actively looking at opportunities to apply in the mining industry, in the marine industry and also in general engineering industry.

[Image changes back to resin being applied to small pipe in a tub]

[Image changes back to Dr Leong Kok Hoong]

The skills and expertise of the team at CSIRO that we work with, complemented the skills of the Petronas team very well.

[Image changes back to employees in water tank]

[Image changes back to Dr Leong Kok Hoong]

They have great scientists, they have great resources and most of all, they have a great track record.

[CSIRO logo appears with text: Big ideas start here]

Hide transcript

Our Response

New technologies for offshore petroleum exploration and production

We are working with industry, governments and academia to provide scientific knowledge and advice for offshore oil and gas; covering the environmental, economic and social factors associated with the entire oil and gas value chain.

Coupled with this, we have extensive geoengineering expertise which we use to develop new technologies for subsea operation.

Some of the technologies and systems we have developed include:

  • Flow assurance systems to ensure uninterrupted flow of oil and gas in subsea pipelines and access to previously stranded gas
  • Hydrocarbon sensor array to monitor the movement of oil spills
  • Bluelink reliable ocean forecasting for Australia and the regions around the world
  • Pipeassure to repair pipelines quickly and safely with minimal disruption and loss of operation down-time
  • PressureDB data collection and analysis on subsurface formation pressure, temperature and salinity from oil and gas wells
  • SedSim: software that recreates the way ocean floor sediment was deposited, or predicts how it will evolve in the future.

Case studies


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