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Exhibitions > underworld by John Jackson 210511

Gas Hunting

Gas Hunting

This painting “plays” with some of the more significant features encountered whilst “hunting” for gas. The work exhibits both commercial and non-commercial gas accumulations, gas water contacts, cross bedding, an unconformity, a marine transgression and a cased, lateral, gas, production well.


At the bottom centre of the picture are the brown sand grains of a silty sandstone. The sandstone is displayed with tilted sharp tops that represent oscillation ripple marks accentuated by current drag. The current passing from right to left.  Sitting between the brown sand grains are brown silt grains, making the reservoir silty, sandstone with poor permeability. The mid-blue represents moveable, formation water while the light blue around the sand and silt grains is the immovable water fraction. The red above the mid-blue is a small non-commercial gas accumulation. Above the small gas accumulation is a sealing, silty, claystone. The light brown is the claystone with the yellow dots representing the silt.


The green and brownie-gold colours towards the bottom of the picture represent the gas source rock or organic matter that has been pressurised and cooked to expel gas.


Above the green and brownie-gold source rock is the primary sandstone reservoir of the commercial gas accumulation. The sand grains are golden-yellow and surrounded by a film of pale blue immovable formation water. On the left and right hand sides the red gas and mid-blue moveable; formation water can be seen as horizontal. This contact is called the gas water contact or the GWC.


Above the primary sandstone reservoir is a series of tan, yellow and orange, diagonal, silty, claystones. These silty claystones represent a transgressing fluvialtle flood plain that was drowning the sandstone from left to right. The top of this flood plain is shown as a wriggly line. The wriggly line represents an old erosion surface with a reddish brown leached zone just beneath it.


The dark blue claystones with grey silt and grey sandstones at the top complete the sedimentary sequence with a final drowning by marine sediments.


The silver “ribbon” that stretches from top right to mid left is a cased, lateral, gas production well. Inside the silver casing are red “bubbles” of natural gas. Once out of the rocks and into the cased well the artist has taken liberties with the bubbles and shaped them like sand and silt grains. These gas bubble shapes are abstract and only the artist knows the reasons for the shapes.


The painting belongs to the APPEA Art Collection in Canberra, Australia. It also “branded” the 2010 Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association’s Conference and 50th Anniversary. It has been displayed in the Australian newspaper, ABC TV’s 7:30 Report and Four Corners Programs.

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