Evaluation of existing seismic data with the onshore geological information reveals a variety of structural and stratigraphic trapping possibilities. There are many large structures within the basin, ranging from drape and compaction over pre-Miocene basement highs and onlap/pinchout traps around the basin margin, to large anticlinal folds of Middle Miocene age (the Kumasi and Buna Structures in PPL 560) and normal and thrust faulted anticlines of Late Miocene to Early Pliocene age. Present day geothermal gradients in the Cape Vogel Basin suggest that a substantial volume of sediment is buried deep enough for potential source rocks to be mature for hydrocarbon generation. Additionally, the Nubiam shale has shown to have relatively rich TOC content and has good to marginal hydrocarbon generating potential.
The first exploration wells were drilled onshore in the Cape Vogel Basin in the late 1920's with reported oil and gas shows. Exploration continued offshore with acquisition of 2500 km of 2D seismic by Amoco between 1972 and 1973. Two wells were subsequently drilled approximately 150 km east of PPL 560 (Goodenough-1 and Nubiam-1). In 1974, Texaco acquired a further 600 km of seismic over the Buna and Tufi Depocentres. A number of significant anticline structures were identified as a result of this work in the Buna Depocentre, located within PPL 560. Aberford Resources gathered 500 km of infill seismic and recognised the presence of flat spots and seismic anomalies, interpreted as indicative of a gas cap over the Buna structure. The low oil prices of the 1980's thwarted attempts to drill the structure. In 2009 Eaglewood Energy recorded high quality 2D seismic in an attempt to confirm the previously interpreted seismic anomalies over the the Buna and Kumasi structures and to provide a seismic tie to the Goodenough-1 well to improve the stratigraphic control in the basin.