Series VPRS 15984
Petroleum Exploration Geophysical Surveys, Alpha-Numeric Order by Survey Name (Minerals and Petroleum)
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1950 - cont
  Series in Custody 1950 - 2003
  Contents 1886 - 2003
Public Access: Open
Location: North Melbourne
Format of Records: Physical
 
Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1950 - 1977 Mines Department (also known as Department of Mines and Mining Department) VA 612
1977 - 1985 Department of Minerals and Energy VA 611
1985 - 1990 Department of Industry, Technology and Resources VA 2661
1990 - 1992 Department of Manufacturing and Industry Development VA 3012
1992 - 1995 Department of Energy and Minerals VA 3035
1995 - 1996 Department of Agriculture, Energy and Minerals VA 3744
1996 - 2002 Department of Natural Resources and the Environment VA 3972
2002 - cont Department of Primary Industries VA 4563
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
2002 - cont Department of Primary Industries VA 4563
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    This series is comprised of records generated in the course of petroleum exploration geophysical surveys conducted by various companies in Victorian waters and onshore Victoria. Records include: seismic surveys, magnetic surveys, gravity surveys, geochemical surveys, reports, maps, diagrams, seismic sections, and geological interpretations.

    As the survey reports were received from companies in accordance with the legislative requirement they were registered on hardcopy index cards. In later years they were registered into the department's dbMap Oracle electronic relational database system, which was the master register/index to access the reports from geophysical surveys. The database dbMap was not suitable for transfer to the Public Record Office Victoria as an electronic record, however a copy of the data in the database was used as the descriptive information about the surveys in the consignment details. Researchers may retrieve the units (or boxes) required by using one of the methods listed below.

    Method 1: Search the metadata by keyword or some other criteria for the item of interest, and then look up its unique barcode number, and then find the item's location and consignment and unit number via that unique identifier. The records are catalogued and arranged according to this unique-number barcode numbering system, e.g., PE200756, PE200757. This barcode numbering system dates from the late-1990s in the department. This alphanumeric code may be the preferred method of retrieval of records by the department responsible for the records.

    Method 2: Search the metadata by Survey G Number. Survey Departmental G number is in the form of an alphanumeric code starting with G and three numbers immediately following, e.g., G158. This serves as a name allocated by the Department of Primary Industries: G stands for Geophysical and the number, 158, was assigned sequentially by survey. The material in this series is arranged by this alpha-numeric code.

    Method 3: Search by Department Name. In addition, a Survey Departmental Name was assigned as an identifier of the area (geographical location) and name of the company which carried out the survey, usually with an indication of the year of the survey. For example: GS81A, indicated that the survey was carried out in the Gippsland Basin, by Shell Development (Australia) Pty Ltd in 1981; or, OFBH64D, where the survey was carried out in the Otway Basin, by the Frome-Broken Hill Company Proprietary Limited in 1964.

    Method 4: Researchers may identify units or items of interest by searching in a series:
    - using the name of a survey site, for example, Otway Basin, Marlin; or,
    - by a generic name which is an informal name often based on the nearest significant geographic locality, e.g., Koroit, Cape Patterson, etc.; or,
    - by name of a company which undertook the exploration, e.g., Shell, Esso, Woodside, etc.

    Method 5: Researchers may search for a particular report, e.g., gravity, seismic, magnetic. These reports can be found by using a combination of the survey name and data sub-type when searching in the consignment details, (e.g., GWS69A and SECTION) using the above information and a data sub-type with report in its name will select the reports from that survey.

    Method 6: To find a particular seismic section: Each Survey may consist of one or more lines; particular seismic sections were also known as seismic lines or profiles. Each line has an identifier (usually just a number, but can also be a letter) attached as a suffix to the Departmental Survey Name, e.g., GS81B-32, OP80-99. The consignment details may be searched for one of these specific numbers, or a combination of the Departmental Survey Name and the data sub-type: SECTION, this will select all of the seismic sections from that survey.

  • Function / Content
    The records consist of data submitted by petroleum exploration companies as required by the following legislation: (Commonwealth) Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Acts 1967 and Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Regulations 2004 (S. 503 Data Management), together with State/Territory legislation). The records include seismic surveys, seismic sections (seismic profiles showing echo-soundings, to provide cross-sections of the uppermost crust of the earth, magnetic surveys, gravity surveys, geochemical surveys, reports, maps, diagrams, seismic sections and geological interpretations relating to the activities undertaken during petroleum exploration in Victoria.

    These records form part of the required data submitted by the petroleum companies as they carried out their permitted activities. These records are held on behalf of the Government of Victoria. When confidentiality conditions no longer apply, the records are made available on request to any petroleum company and any other interested party. The records are a scientific method of investigating the subsurface of the earth using various physical or chemical properties of the earth.

  • Recordkeeping System
    Each Geophysical Survey was registered in alpha-numeric order by survey name. A geophysical survey results in a number of outputs. It was the practice of the agency to store some of these records in 'survey boxes' which included seismic surveys, magnetic surveys, gravity surveys, geochemical surveys, reports, maps, diagrams, seismic sections, and geological interpretations. Some of the records, such as magnetic computer tapes (e.g., VPRS 4550), were stored offsite. Some records (e.g. longer seismic sections) were rolled up and stored in tubes.

    The records that were generated in the course of minerals and petroleum exploration performed by the companies and submitted to the relevant department were in a wide range of formats, with a range of file-sizes of hardcopy for maps, sections, and diagrams. A single survey could result in the full range of reports and of all sizes. In the office, records of a similar format were put away in storage containers that were best suited to their size. There were:
    - Survey Boxes
    - Map Boxes
    - Sepia Tubes.

    Records were stored in particular formats by the agency and subsequently transferred to Public Record Office Victoria in discrete consignments. In this way the original order of the records has been preserved.

    Core samples were held at Department of Primary Industries' Core Library in Werribee. They include cores, cuttings (rock chip samples), and side wall cores (small cores drilled into the side of the hole by mechanical gun devices).

    The palynological (pollen) slides and other fossil samples were held (and stored) in Museum Victoria, Carlton.

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Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
By 1965 - ? 1997 Index to Surveys in Alpha-numerical Order by Name of Survey (Minerals and Petroleum) VPRS 16209
Controlled SeriesControlled Series
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Previous SeriesPrevious Series
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Subsequent SeriesSubsequent Series
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List/s of records in this seriesList/s of records in this series
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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0001 1886 - 2000 Open 216
P0002 1972 - 2003 Open 13
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
By 1965 - ? 1997 Index to Surveys in Alpha-numerical Order by Name of Survey (Minerals and Petroleum) VPRS 16209
More research resourcesMore research resources