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PESA NSW October Technical Lunch

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 12:00 - 14:00

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Guest Speaker: Dr Kevin Hill

Kevin Hill is a structural and petroleum geologist who provides expert structural consulting to the resources industry, and offers beginners to advanced industry training courses. He has worked on many mountain belts and sedimentary basins around the world resulting in over 60 publications.

Kevin had 5 years with BP based in Canada and England, with their Structural Specialists Group, working on numerous basins around the world.  This was followed by 16 years teaching and research at La Trobe University (full-time) and then the University of Melbourne (part-time) whilst also consulting with many companies, mainly on Malaysia, Indonesia, PNG, Australia’s NW Shelf, Bass Strait and New Zealand.  Academically he completed a 4 year study of the structure and thermal history of the Papuan Fold Belt, working in association with BP Australia and consulting for Lakes Oil.  Kevin also spent 12 years running petroleum and structural geology research projects at La Trobe University and the University of Melbourne, focused mainly on Bass Strait and New Guinea, working with Pacarc Niugini, Oil Search, MIM Petroleum, Caltex, Esso, British Gas, Freeport, LL&E, Mobil, ARCO, Highlands Gold, BHPP, Union Texas and Woodside, amongst others.  He developed a seismic-structure workstation laboratory with industry-standard 2D and 3D seismic and structural software and organised funding and management of a team of researchers to undertake research projects on time and within budget, with regular reports to sponsors.

For the last ten years Kevin has worked for Oil Search Ltd in Sydney constructing regional and detailed balanced sections across the fold belt, detailed 3D structural models of the producing fields and regional 3D structural models of new plays and prospects. This involved integrating regional tectonics, seismic interpretation, 2D and 3D structural modelling, fission track and U-Th-He thermochronology, surface mapping, regional aero-gravity data and 3D experimental analogue models. In 2001 Kevin was the PESA Australia Lecturer, presenting his structural workshop throughout Australia.  Kevin received the Stillwell Medal for his fission track publication on Papua New Guinea.

PESA NSW lunch talk  17th October 2017

Integrated 2D seismic interpretation, geometrical forward modelling, 4D analogue modelling and finite element modelling to determine the structure of a giant gasfield in the jungle-covered mountains of Papua New Guinea.

Presented by Kevin Hill


The Hides anticline in the Papua New Guinea (PNG) fold belt is the core part of the PNG LNG project that commenced production in 2014. The structure of the upper 3 km is relatively well constrained from surface data, wells and poor quality 2D seismic data, but the deep structure has been obscure. Seismic data and gravity modelling suggest an underlying large normal fault in basement. Forward geometrical modelling using MoveTM and 4D analogue sandbox modelling under an x-ray tomography scanner have greatly constrained the structural interpretation. Using ductile and/or brittle stratigraphies, we tested deformation under the following conditions: pure compression with variable strain rate, inversion followed by compression, and oblique compression. This modelling confirms the presence of the underlying basement fault and suggests that it was mildly inverted prior to the onset of pure compressional deformation in the sedimentary section. The main detachment level was just above basement, ~8-10 km beneath the surface, but this ramped up at the basement fault creating an array of triangle zone faults through the overlying sedimentary section, making the Hides anticline. The early inversion was critical in initiating a backthrust and hinterland-verging tight fold in the Mesozoic section, including the source, reservoir and seal. Deformation in the thick Miocene carbonates at surface was detached from that in the underlying reservoir along an Upper Cretaceous mudstone horizon that varies strongly in thickness such that the 2-4 km high Mesozoic structure verges NE and the overlying Miocene structure verges SW. Analogue modelling shows that a ductile stratigraphy is required with slow strain rates of ~1-3km/M.Y. Our goal now is to digitally reproduce the analogue models in 2D and then 3D using the ‘Underworld’ finite element modelling code. We can then add variables such as temperature, rheology and isostasy to further refine our understanding.

Date & Time:      
Tuesday 17th October, 12pm for a 12:30pm start.

PESA Members:                               $55.00 (Members must Log on to the PESA website to see the member prices)

Non-members:                                 $77.00

PESA Students Members:              $11.00 (Members must Log on to the PESA website to see the member prices)

Castlereagh Boutique Hotel, 169 Castlereagh St, Sydney, NSW


Bookings close Thursday 12th October 2017 for venue and catering purposes.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017
12:00 - 14:00


Castlereagh Boutique Hotel
169 Castlereagh St, Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia
+ Google Map
+61 2 9284 1000


PESA NSW Secretary
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