Schlumberger has outlined its plan for a major multi-client 3D marine seismic survey in northwest Australia's Vulcan sub-basin, which is known to be a geologically-complex oil play.

Schlumberger said the 12,000-square kilometre Bonaparte MC3D survey will collect high-quality geophysical data regarding rock formations and structures beneath the seabed.

A number of large oil and gas companies have petroleum licences in the Vulcan sub-basin including Shell, Inpex, PTTEP, Jadestone Energy, Santos, Carnarvon Energy, Finder Energy and Melbana.