Skip to content

COVID-19 Updates for resources sector: fee relief | To report a serious incident to DEM, as required by Section 85(2) of the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000, licensees should contact the serious incident reporting hotline on: (08) 8463 6666. For more information please visit the Compliance and Monitoring webpage | DEM-ERD has just released the first “Basin in a Box” data-package covering the Simpson and Pedirka Basins. The dataset is available via the “Data and Publications” page. Each package is a consolidated set of seismic and well data to facilitate new ventures and exploration assessments of frontier basins in South Australia. Data releases for other frontier basins will follow. | Changes to data submission requirements during COVID-19 restrictions. For further information see here.

Snapshot in time

60th anniversary of Innamincka 1 drilling.

Sir Thomas Playford and Minister Lyell McEwin at Innamincka.
The Premier of South Australia, Sir Thomas Playford (right), and Minister Lyell McEwin (centre) arriving for the pegging ceremony at Innamincka in February 1959. (Photo T001696)

The Commonwealth Petroleum Search Subsidy Act was introduced in 1957 to assist the Australian search for oil by offering financial incentives to companies drilling in regions with petroleum potential. The Bureau of Mineral Resources (now Geoscience Australia) vetted applications, supervised operations, and received a one-third slab of drill cores, samples and logs.

Innamincka 1, drilled under this scheme, was the first deep petroleum exploration well in the South Australian Cooper Basin and the first well drilled by the Delhi Australia Petroleum and Santos Limited Joint Venture. The well was spudded on 29 March 1959 and the rig was released on 27 November 1959.

Examples of pages.

In celebration of this history, the Department for Energy and Mining has published a detailed account (PDF 8 MB) by Professor Heli Wopfner of the lead up to and drilling of Innamincka 1.

Innamincka 1 drilled through the Eromanga Basin into the Cooper Basin and reached a total depth of 3,852 m in gently dipping Ordovician beds (Warburton Basin). A total of 35 cores were cut and can still be viewed today at the South Australia Drill Core Reference Library. Ten drillstem tests were run and recorded oil-cut mud in the Eromanga section and gas in water from the Cooper section.

Innamincka 1 was completed as a water well and was finally decommissioned in June 1988.

Download Heli’s report (PDF 8 MB)

Access the well completion report

– Elinor Alexander, June 2019

Back to news articles