Happy 50th Birthday Hunt Oil Road

Submitted: Thursday, Oct 27, 2016 at 22:32
ThreadID: 133673 Views:2775 Replies:3 FollowUps:3
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The Hunt Oil Road - A history.

The Hunt Oil Rd is an abandoned exploration track, cleared by the Hunt Oil Company in the 1960’s. The track runs south from Geraldton Bore on the Gunbarrel Hwy, to the Great Central Rd between Tjukayirla and Warburton. The Hunt Oil Rd is about 263 km long and is one of a few ways to access the Great Central Road from the Gunbarrel Hwy, other options being the David Carnegie Rd (Eagle Hwy) to the west, and the Heather Hwy to the east.


The Hunt Oil Road splits across the north western arm of what in geological terms is known as the 'Officer Basin'. The Officer Basin covers over 350,000 square kilometres of South and Western Australia. About 250,000km2 of the basin lies across the Gibson and Great Victoria Deserts in Western Australia. As a result, the natural environment is regarded as harsh desert, with low irregular rainfall, and extremely hot conditions in the summer months. Landforms in the Great Victoria Desert comprise undulating plains, laterite outcrops and extensive dune fields, with vegetation of low open woodlands, grasslands and spinifex scrub.


A number of significant exploration ventures have been undertaken across the region and a large dataset is available to the public. The earliest recorded geological investigation of the area was carried out in 1916 by H. W. B. Talbot and E. C. Clarke as representatives of the Western Australian Government. Talbot and Clarke passed through the area en route from Laverton to the Warburton Range, conducting several traverses between Laverton and the South Australia border. The main purpose of their expedition was investigation of reported mineral-bearing rocks near the Warburton Range. Their published works on the area remained the definitive study until the rush of oil and mineral exploration that commenced in the 1960’s.


The Hunt Oil - Placid Oil - Exoil Consortium undertook a major program of petroleum exploration in the Officer Basin between 1961 and 1966. They concentrated their effort in the area southwest of Warburton which they considered was the deepest part of the basin. Reconnaissance aeromagnetics in 1961 was followed by a major gravity survey and detailed seismic surveys between 1963 and 1965, culminating in stratigraphic drilling in 1965 and 1966. During the surveys, 15 000 km of track were cleared by bulldozers, some 35,265 gravity stations were established, and 1794 stations were permanently marked. The interpretation of the drilling results led to the suspension of operations. Four shallow test wells (maximum depth 614 m) and one stratigraphic well (990 m deep) were drilled.

Additional aeromagnetic and geological surveys were done in the northern part of the basin as part of other petroleum exploration programs but none of these reports were published.


While many of the scars left from the gravity and seismic surveys have long been subsumed by the relentless desert, the Hunt Oil Road remains as a lasting reminder of this push into a harsh, remote area in search of mineral wealth. The variety and wealth of the ecosystems the road traverses is astounding, as is the rich history of both the original inhabitants of the land and the many European explorers who crossed these lands including;

• Ernest Giles (1873)
• William Christie Gosse (1873)
• John and Alexander Forest (1874)
• David Lindsay – Elder Expedition (1891)
• Hubbe Stock Route Expedition
• Calvert Expedition (1896)
• David W. Carnegie (1896/97)

2016 is the 50th year of the Hunt Oil Road's existence.












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Reply By: Idler Chris - Friday, Oct 28, 2016 at 09:39

Friday, Oct 28, 2016 at 09:39
Thanks for all that info Mick, very interesting. Camped at Geraldton Bore in July this year, great area. I had heard of the Hunt Oil Road and we discussed it when we where there but no one knew much about it. Now that I do I will short list the Hunt Oil Road and the Gary Highway to Kunawaritji as a possibility for part off next years trip.
This is my photo, and as you can see not much has changed in 12 months.



Just so there is no confusion, that is not my Navara next to the pump. I have these days a D-Max and Gecko camper. I wonder if anyone can pick where this photo was taken.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

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Follow Up By: Member - JOHN C16 - Friday, Oct 28, 2016 at 09:52

Friday, Oct 28, 2016 at 09:52
Warakurna?
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Friday, Oct 28, 2016 at 10:29

Friday, Oct 28, 2016 at 10:29
There are no flies on John, spot on.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Friday, Oct 28, 2016 at 12:07

Friday, Oct 28, 2016 at 12:07
Those 'domes' are a dead giveaway.
Haven't seen them anywhere else.
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Tjukayirla Roadhouse - Saturday, Oct 29, 2016 at 11:51

Saturday, Oct 29, 2016 at 11:51
Thanks for that Mick, I should pop up and say happy birthday :-)

Cheers
Al
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Reply By: Echucan Bob - Sunday, Oct 30, 2016 at 17:40

Sunday, Oct 30, 2016 at 17:40
Thanks for that Mick.

The text and photos are a great way to transport one's mind away from the mundane (I'm at work today).

Bob
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