The NCPGG is one of a number of Key Centres established in 1985, by the Commonwealth Government of Australia, to promote excellence in scientific teaching and research. It is a co-operative venture between The University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia. The NCPGG is a partner in an unincorporated venture with the CSIRO Division of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Centre for Petroleum Engineering at the University of New South Wales (CPE) and Curtin University. This venture, the Australian Petroleum Cooperative Research Centre (APCRC), is funded by Federal and State Governments and the petroleum industry. The APCRC carries out advanced research on behalf of the petroleum industry covering all facets of petroleum geology, geophysics, geochemistry and engineering. The NCPGG is involved in the activities of the APCRC related to Basin Analysis, specifically seal evaluation, reservoir characterisation, formation damage, hydrocarbon migration, pore pressure prediction, and the geological disposal of carbon dioxide. In addition, NCPGG is carrying out programs in petrophysics, sequence stratigraphy and thermal history modelling.

In mid-2002, the NCPGG will be moving into the new School of Petroleum Engineering and Management (SPEM) building on the North Terrace Campus. The NCPGG anticipates working closely with the SPEM on training and research projects.

The main objectives of the NCPGG are:

The NCPGG is committed to maximising the role of the petroleum geoscientist in exploration and development, and adopts a multidisciplinary approach throughout its operations.