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Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103129

Petroleum systems of Indonesia

Harry Doust
, Ron A. Noble
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Unocal Indonesia Company, Jakarta, Indonesia
Received 13 October 2006; received in revised form 13 March 2007; accepted 4 May 2007
Indonesia contains many Tertiary basins, several of which have proven to be very prolic producers of oil and gas. The geology and
petroleum systems of these productive basins are reviewed, summarized and updated according to the most recent developments. We
have linked the recognized petroleum systems to common stages in the geological evolution of these synrift to postrift basins and
classied them accordingly. We recognize four Petroleum System Types (PSTs) corresponding to the four main stages of geodynamic
basin development, and developed variably in the different basins depending on their depositional environment history: (i) an oil-prone
Early Synrift Lacustrine PST, found in the Eocene to Oligocene deeper parts of the synrift grabens, (ii) an oil and gas-prone Late Synrift
Transgressive Deltaic PST, located in the shallower Oligocene to early Miocene portions of the synrift grabens, (iii) a gas-prone Early
Postrift Marine PST, characteristic of the overlying early Miocene transgressive period, and (iv) an oil and gas-prone Late Postrift
Regressive Deltaic PST, forming the shallowest late Tertiary basin lls. We have ascribed the petroleum systems in each of the basins to
one of these types, recognizing that considerable mixing of the predominantly lacustrine to terrestrial charge has taken place.
Furthermore, we have grouped the basins according to their predominant PSTs and identied basin families that share important
aspects of their hydrocarbon habitat: these have been termed proximal, intermediate, distal, Borneo and eastern Indonesian, according to
their palaeogeographic relationship to the Sunda craton of Southeast Asia.
r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Indonesia; Tertiary; Sedimentary basins; Rifts; Petroleum system; Petroleum system types
1. Introduction
Petroleum exploration in Indonesia has had a long and
successful history. Some of the earliest oil production of
the modern age comes from shallow elds in Java and
Sumatra, and discoveries have been made throughout the
past century up to the present day. Knowledge of the
petroleum habitat has been encouraged since the 1970s,
partly thanks to an enlightened policy of cooperation by
the petroleum community in Indonesia, through technical
conferences and through publications sponsored by the
Indonesian Petroleum Association (IPA). This cooperation
amongst industry participants has grown from the need to
develop a comprehensive understanding of the large
number of sedimentary basins and petroleum provinces
encountered throughout the archipelago.
Description of the petroleum systems of Indonesia can
thus rest upon a foundation of an extensive, comprehensive
and reliable database that can be found, for the most part, in
the public domain. Many of the publications are detailed,
but several overviews have been published through the
years, concentrating particularly on the various charge and
reservoir systems as well as on the common play types
represented in the different basins. In this paper, we make
reference only to a restricted number of key publications
that provide good summaries of the various themes or areas.
They all provide access to a much larger literature, which we
have used to prepare both text and gures.
In an early and excellent publication, Soeparjardi et al.
(1975) identied important characteristics of the basins
which were known to contain hydrocarbon accumulations:
namely, Eocene to Miocene transgression, followed by
0264-8172/$ - see front matter r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Corresponding author.
E-mail address: (H. Doust).
Current address: Anadarko Indonesia Company, Jakarta, Indonesia.
mid-Miocene to Pliocene regression and Quaternary
transgression. They also described the six main reservoir
systems that were known in productive basins-transgressive
clastics, regressive clastics, deltaic deposits, carbonate
platform complexes, pinnacle reefs and fractured volcanics.
Their publication formed the basis for all subsequent
attempts to review the hydrocarbon habitat of Indonesian
basins, and provides the foundation of the approach
presented here.
Following the formalization of the petroleum system
concept (Magoon and Dow, 1994), Howes and Tisnawijaya
(1995) used a modied and more practical approach to
summarize the petroleum systems of Indonesia in a
landmark paper. They tabulated 34 petroleum systems
associated with documented accumulations as well as
others that were thought to exist but in which no
discoveries had yet been made. For the known systems,
they presented plots of cumulative ultimate discovery
volumes (in million barrels of oil equivalent) versus number
of elds in discovery order (so-called creaming curves).
We refer to many of these plots in this publication.
Importantly, they noted that many of the 34 systems did
not contain a single area of mature source rock, but
represented in fact a composite of several distinct source
areas. In order to work with manageable numbers of
systems, and thereby identify the similarities and differ-
ences between them, we believe it is necessary to group
individual petroleum systems into families. Doust (2003)
presented a proposed framework for the identication of
petroleum systems in southeast (SE) Asia, and this is
applied in the classication presented here.
There are many petroleum-bearing sedimentary basins in
Indonesia (Darman and Hasan Sidi, 2000), the number
depending on whether each individual synrift graben is
counted, or whether they are grouped by province. We
have followed the classication used by the IPA for their
set of eld atlases (Indonesian Petroleum Association,
19971991), which also represents common usage. Descrip-
tion of the geology and hydrocarbon habitat of these
basins is complicated by the plethora of local formation
Fig. 1. Location map of Indonesian basins, grouped according to resource volumes. Those with less than 10 MMboe do not contain petroleum systems
described here. MM, million; B, billion; boe, barrels of oil-equivalent.
H. Doust, R.A. Noble / Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103129 104
names (many of them essentially lithofacies and lithofacies
equivalents) and conicting age attribution. We have
adopted the stratigraphies from the atlases in general,
though we have modied them where we felt this was
justied. We have reviewed in detail the petroleum systems
with commercial, or soon to be commercial, elds only.
Throughout Indonesia other potential systems are devel-
oped (indicated, for instance, by oil seepages in frontier
basins), but our main object here is to identify and emphasize
the main characteristics of the successful and productive
ones, so that the lessons can be applied elsewhere.
2. Tectonostratigraphic evolution of far east Tertiary
petroleum basins
The sedimentary basins of Indonesia form the core of a
family of Tertiary basins developed throughout SE Asia
(Fig. 1). Though they may differ slightly in age and
development, they share many characteristics: nearly all of
them pass through an early Tertiary synrift to late Tertiary
postrift geological history, they all have an almost
exclusively landplant and/or lacustrinealgal charge
system and they are characterized by rapid short wave-
length sedimentary variations involving a distinct suite of
depositional environments and their associated lithofacies.
In nearly all of the basins, four stages of tectonostrati-
graphic evolution can be recognized (Fig. 2):
1. Early Synrift (typically Eocene to Oligocene)corre-
sponds with the period of rift graben formation and the
following period of maximum subsidence. Often deposi-
tion is limited to early-formed half-grabens.
2. Late Synrift (Late Oligocene to Early Miocene)
corresponds with the period of waning subsidence in
the graben, when individual rift elements amalgamated
to form extensive lowlands that lled with paralic
3. Early Postrift (typically Early to Middle Miocene)
corresponds with a period of tectonic quiescence
following marine transgression that covered the existing
grabenhorst topography.
4. Late Postrift (typically Middle Miocene to Pliocene)
corresponding to periods of inversion and folding,
during which regressive deltas were formed.
A nal transgressive period characterizes the Quatern-
ary, but it has no signicance to petroleum habitat and will
not be referred to further.
These stages can be related to the areas plate tectonic
evolution (Hall, 1997), particularly to early Tertiary
Fig. 2. Chronostratigraphy of Indonesian petroliferous basins, showing stages, background tectonics and geodynamic events. Seaoor spreading events
and continental collisions are from Longley (1997).
H. Doust, R.A. Noble / Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103129 105
transtensional stresses generated by the IndiaAsia colli-
sion (including opening of the South China Sea (3020 Ma)
and with late Tertiary uplift and inversions caused by
collisions and plate rotations. They can also be correlated
with the four phases or stages of SE Asian tectonostrati-
graphic evolution as dened by Longley (1997). His Stage I
(5043.5 Ma) corresponds to a period of early continental
collision, which led to the formation of many of the older
synrift grabens, while his Stage II (43.532 Ma), during
which major plate reorganizations took place, resulted in
the formation and active subsidence of a younger popula-
tion of rifts. Stage III (3221 Ma), contemporaneous with
sea oor spreading in the South China Sea, was a period
during which rifting ceased, local inversion took place
and a major marine transgression marked the beginning
of postrift development. Stage IV (210 Ma) was chara-
cterized by a maximum transgression, followed by several
collision phases that led to inversions, uplift and the
development of regressive deltaic sequences. This is equi-
valent to the early and late postrift stages.
3. Relationship of tectono-stratigraphic history to petroleum
system development
For many years, it has been recognized that most
sedimentary basins have complex histories that can be
divided into stages or cycles (mentioned above). Kingston
et al. (1983) described a method by which various basin
types could be categorized by their sequence of evolu-
tionary stages. SE Asia Tertiary basins were classied as
two-stage wrench or shear basins, in recognition of their
early synrift phase with probable transtensional origin,
followed by almost inevitable inversions related to the
inherent instability (reected in the poor preservation
potential of this basin type). They also noted that each
basin stage typically comprised a transgressiveregressive
sedimentary cycle, which today we can recognize as a
rst order sequence, containing lowstand, transgressive
and highstand systems tracts, bounded by regionally cor-
relatable horizons.
It is our belief that in many basins, petroleum systems
can be related directly to basin stage, since rst-order
sedimentary sequences often contain source, reservoir and
seal rocks, frequently in a favourable vertical succession.
We have applied this concept to Indonesian petroleum
systems, albeit with some modications in recognition of
the synrift development (which does not lend itself easily to
the classic model of sequence stratigraphy) and the rapid
facies variations.
Doust and Lijmbach (1997) and Doust (1999) proposed
that almost all of the petroleum systems developed in
Indonesian basins could be ascribed to one of four basic
types, each with its characteristic source, reservoir and seal
facies. By classifying them in this way, it is possible to make
broad comparisons of basin prospectivity. Recognition of
discrete petroleum systems depends on geochemical corre-
lation between source rocks and their related hydrocarbon
accumulations. In Indonesia, this is rendered very difcult
by the fact that: (a) many source rocks are thin and/or
widely distributed within the sequence, (b) most oils and
gases derived from any particular type of source rock (e.g.
deltaic or lacustrine) cannot be readily distinguished from
others in the same group, and (c) a large amount of mixing
of lacustrine and terrestrial oils appears to have taken
place. Ten Haven and Schiefelbein (1995) nevertheless were
able to dene whether charge in each basin in Indonesia
was derived from Tertiary lacustrine, terrigenous or marine
source rocks or whether it came from Mesozoic sources: In
fact, they used this to dene which petroleum systems were
present, in much the same way as presented here
although we relate the petroleum systems more specically
to the basin development stage.
The extensive mixing is probably a consequence of the
limited development of regional seals, and its effect is that
charge from some of the petroleum system types dened
here contributes to accumulations in younger petroleum
system types.
The four basic petroleum system types (or PSTs; for more
detail see Doust and Lijmbach (1997), where they are
referred to as hydrocarbon systems) correlate well with the
four basin stages described in the previous section, and have
the following characteristics (for a summary see Fig. 15):
1. Early Synrift Lacustrine PST: This is strongly oil prone
due to the widespread development of organic-rich
lacustrine type I/II source rocks, and is common in
western Indonesian basins. Reservoirs comprise uvio-
lacustrine clastics and volcaniclastics of limited quality,
intimately interbedded with non-marine shales. A com-
prehensive summary of this PST is given by Sladen (1997).
2. Late Synrift Transgressive Deltaic PST: Deltaic or
paralic sequences with an overall backstepping devel-
opment typify this PST. Source rocks comprise type
II/III coals and coaly shales that produce both oil and
gas, interbedded with uvio-deltaic sand reservoirs and
seals, often of excellent quality.
3. Early Postrift Marine PST: Source rocks in this principally
marine shale sequence are mainly lean and/or gas-prone.
The main reservoirs comprise open marine carbonates,
including reefal buildups. This PST contains the only
widespread regional seal in many Indonesian basins.
4. Late Postrift Regressive Deltaic PST: This PST has
similar environments and characteristics as the Late
synrift PST except that the overall deltaic development
is typically progradational rather than retrogradational.
In most cases, it lies at depths too shallow for
hydrocarbon generation, but where major deltas are
developed on continent margins, it represents the
dominant system.
4. Aspects of the hydrocarbon system
In this section, we summarize the characteristics of the
main elements common to Indonesian petroleum systems.
H. Doust, R.A. Noble / Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103129 106
This is possible because the basins share a relatively limited
number of environmentally related lithofacies and have
similar tectonic settings. The basins situated proximal to
the Sunda shelf have a stronger component of proximal
lacustrinedeltaic lithofacies throughout their develop-
ment, while those at the edges of the Tertiary continental
margin develop more marine facies characterized by thick
marine shales and carbonates. This is reected directly in
their hydrocarbon habitat, so that the petroleum systems
and plays developed in the various basins can be linked
directly to the overall three-dimensional facies/environ-
mental sequence and the tectonic history.
4.1. Source rocks
The geochemistry of oils and source rocks from
Indonesia has been reviewed by many authors, and there
is general consensus that the host organic matter originated
from landplants and/or algallacustrine source material.
A summary of information on source types in the major
petroleum provinces of Indonesia is presented in Fig. 3.
The source rock depositional environments, described in
detail by Todd et al. (1997) and by Schiefelbein and
Cameron (1997), are as follows:
Lacustrine: Lacustrine oils originate from mainly algal
type I/II kerogen, which accumulated in deep or shallow
fresh to brackish water lakes, primarily in the early synrift
stage of basin development. Several sub-families have been
recognized (e.g. in Central Sumatra, Williams and Eubank,
1995) which are linked to variable water chemistry and the
admixture of terrestrial organic detritus.
Paralic or deltaic: Hydrocarbons from source rocks of
this type arise from coals and coaly shales deposited in a
variety of uvial to estuarine lower coastal plain environ-
ments, typically in the late synrift and late postrift basin
stages. The kerogen is mainly of terrigenous (land plant)
origin, type II/III, but may contain some algal elements
derived from oodplain lakes. In general, a mixture of oil
and gas is generated.
Marine: Hydrocarbons generated from marine source
rocks have geochemical characteristics that are broadly
similar to those from the paralic environments in that
they are derived from detrital land plant organic matter.
The typical type II marine source rocks seen extensively in
Fig. 3. Source rock types in Indonesian basins based on oil typing from Todd et al. (1997), showing lithology, age, and the basin stage in which they are
developed and total associated reserve volumes in million barrels of oil-equivalent. ES, Early Synrift; LS, Late Synrift; EP, Early Postrift; LP, Late
Postrift; HC, hydrocarbons.
H. Doust, R.A. Noble / Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103129 107
other parts of the world are not present in any abundance
here. However, the presence of marine biomarkers (e.g.
C30-steranes in some oils from Java and North Sumatra)
indicate that the source rocks were deposited in a marine
setting, even though the bulk of the organic material
represents transported land plant material. In the Maha-
kam Delta, source rock facies have been identied recently
in deep water turbidites where once again, the organic
matter is predominantly of terrestrial origin (Dunham
et al., 2001; Peters et al., 2000; Guritno et al., 2003; Saller
et al., 2006). Away from deltaic depocenters it is likely that
marine shales of the early postrift interval, many of which
contain low percentages of disseminated terrestrial organic
material, have generated signicant quantities of gas. In
eastern Indonesia, oils of marine clastic, marly and
carbonate afnities occur. These oils have geochemical
characteristics typical of marine oils globally (Peters et al.,
1999) and are derived from either pre-Tertiary source rocks
(e.g. onshore Seram), or from Miocene marine marls
(e.g. the Salawati Basin).
As was noted by Shaw and Packham (1992), the higher
than average heat ow experienced in several Tertiary
Indonesian basins plays an important role in raising the
hydrocarbon prospectivity of some of the shallower basins.
It is noticeable that many oils show a mixed lacustrine
and paralic geochemical signature (e.g. in South Sumatra).
These may arise from shallow lake margin facies or from
mixing of charge from two distinct source rocks during
vertical migration. This mixing, plus the overall similarity
of geochemical ngerprints, complicates the identication
of a discrete source system for groups of geochemically
related oils, as proposed in the original denition of a
petroleum system (Magoon and Dow, 1994).
4.2. Reservoirs
Reservoir rocks are abundant throughout Indonesian
basins in a variety of sedimentary facies. As with source
rocks, their development is closely related to depositional
environment and basin evolution.
Non-marine siliciclastics: These characterize the early
synrift section of proximal basins. They typically comprise
uvio-deltaic sands that are often thin, with a signicant
content of lithic material and limited sorting. Porosities are
below 20% and permeabilities up to 100 mD and, in
general, the quality and development are highly variable.
Alluvial fans adjacent to basin bounding faults may
contain coarse clastics, but are poorly sorted and shale-
out rapidly.
Fluvio-deltaic to shallow marine siliciclastics: These facies
form the best clastic reservoirs of Indonesia, with porosities
up to 25% and often multi-Darcy permeabilities. Delta
plain and coastal sands, derived from older cratonic areas,
provide the best reservoirs. These typically occur within the
late synrift package. Late postrift sands of Sumatra and
Java often have a signicant lithic/arkosic component that
reduces the permeability. The cyclic regressive units of the
late postrift deltaic sediments in Kalimantan, on the other
hand, have excellent reservoir properties.
Deep marine siliciclastics: Turbiditic sands have provided
a focus for exploration in recent years, primarily in the
offshore KuteiMahakam Delta (Dunham and McKee,
2001). Drilling activity in the deepwater Makassar Straits
has shown that reservoir quality sands were deposited in
slope and basin oor settings (Dunham and McKee, 2001).
Sands deposited in channellevee complexes across the
slope and in unconned submarine fans have successfully
been targeted using 3D seismic. Study of the link between
the slope and the basin oor provides insights into sand
distribution and the location of potential reservoirs (Saller
et al., 2004).
Platform and reefal carbonates: These reservoirs, char-
acteristic of the more distal late synrift areas and postrift
stages, provide locally high porosity reservoirs (o38% in
places). In general, the reefoid and back-reef facies have the
best reservoir characters, while platform carbonates have
more limited potential.
4.3. Seals
Seals can also be closely related to basin stage and are
either intra-formational or more regionally developed.
Interbedded deltaic seals: Intra-formational shale seals
are typical of deltaic sequences, where they commonly act
as top seals for interbedded sands or, in combination with
faults, as side seals to fault closures (often contributing clay
smear). Those of the late synrift were described in Kaldi
and Atkinson (1997), who reviewed shale interbeds from
the Talang Akar Formation of Northwest Java in terms of
seal capacity, geometry and integrity. The main sealing
lithofacies, ranked in order of increasing seal capacity,
comprise delta plain, channel, prodelta and delta front
shales. These conclusions are probably equally applicable
to the deltaic sequences of the late postrift.
Thicker seal formations and regional seals: The marine
shales of the early postrift represent the only genuine
regional seals of the Indonesian basins. They may act as
ultimate seals to the late synrift deltaic sediments or they
may completely encase the carbonate build-ups of the early
4.4. Traps
A variety of trap types are present in Indonesian basins,
depending on the location and tectonic history. The
greatest concentration of traps is to be found in the basins
adjacent to the SumatraJava arc, where extensive thrust
belts are developed, and in the continent margin sequences
of eastern Kalimantan. Elsewhere, traps are located above
rift boundary faults that have been reactivated during
inversion and in the extensive reefoid carbonate provinces
in distal parts of the foreland basins. The following trap
types are commonly developedthey often dene the plays
that are present.
H. Doust, R.A. Noble / Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103129 108
Folded dip closures: NWSE to WE trending anticlinal
dip closures are abundant in Sumatra and Java basins
(which developed into foreland basins in the late postrift
stage), where they may affect the entire syn- and
postrift sequences. They form elongate drag folds, are
frequently cross-faulted and are often bounded by reverse
faults or thrusts nucleated above synrift boundary faults
(the so-called Sunda folds). Many of these structures
are related to wrench inversions of the synrift and
are located adjacent to graben boundary faults. At
shallower levels, unfaulted drape closures may occur,
especially where structural growth has been continuous,
or where structural detachment has taken place in postrift
Dip/fault closures: Many individual traps related to
anticlinal structures demonstrate fault/dip closure. Foot-
wall closures are especially common: they may be simple or
complex, and are sometimes related to intrabasinal horst
blocks or structural noses.
Synsedimentary structures: In the Kutei and Tarakan
basins growth-fault related structures, many of them
inverted by subsequent movements, are developed. Traps,
usually in the hangingwall block, may be dip closed or fault
related. In the deeper water, toe-thrust anticlinal structures
fall into this category.
Basement topography: A relatively small number of elds
are found in basement high blocks, where the reservoir is
frequently represented by fractured rocks the pre-rift
sequence. In other cases, onlap onto the basement surface
appears to dene the trap morphology.
Reefoid carbonate structures: Carbonate reservoirs occur
in anticlines, but trapping is often assisted by platform
growth or reefoid relief. In most cases, these are of
relatively low relief, but in the East Natuna and Salawati
basins, high relief pinnacle reefs are developed.
Clastic stratigraphic traps: Sedimentary pinch-out often
appears to contribute to trapping, but rarely is the main
constituent of a trap. Exceptions are where channels cut
Fig. 4. Stratigraphic sections of southern and western Indonesian basins, showing basin stage, common formation names, lithology and predominant
depositional environments (thicknesses are not indicated).
H. Doust, R.A. Noble / Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103129 109
structural noses in the deltaic sequences of the late syn-
and postrift section. Deep water plays of the Mahakam
Delta may also have a component of stratigraphic
trapping, particularly in ponded mini-basins in intra-slope
5. Summary of Indonesian petroleum basin geology
In this section, we summarize the stratigraphic and
structural development of the various productive basins of
Indonesia, and relate them to the petroleum system
framework presented above (Figs. 4 and 5). It should be
noted that many of these are composite basins, comprising
a number of separate synrift grabens overlain by a blanket
of postrift deposits. In many cases, the facies vary
considerably across the various provinces, depending on
the proximity to or distance from the contemporary open
ocean (in the synrift) and to zones of active deformation
(in the postrift).
Note that in ascribing reservoir levels to petroleum
system types and basin stages, we have included PST 3
basal carbonates within PST 2 in those areas where,
because there is no regional seal between them, they
essentially form one combined group of reservoirs.
Examples of this include areas where the Batu Raja
Formation directly overlies the Talang Akar Formation
in the South Sumatra Basin. Unless stated, we have
followed the petroleum systems classication as dened
by Howes and Tisnawijaya (1995).
5.1. North Sumatra Basin
The North Sumatra Basin comprises a series of north
south trending ridges and grabens formed in Early
Oligocene time (Fig. 6). Almost the entire basin ll is
marine, much of it, especially in the north, comprising
basinal deeper marine claystones, shales and shallow water
reefoid limestones, the latter developed on structural highs.
Regressive shallow water deltaic facies are found in the
southeast. The sequence is predominantly argillaceous and
the division into four-basin stages is somewhat arbitrary.
Early Synrift (Early Oligocene): Coarse-grained con-
glomerates and bioclastic limestones are recorded at the
bases of the graben lls and on their adjacent highs.
Late Synrift (Late Oligocene): This comprises thick,
deep marine claystones, mudstones and dark shales of
the Bampo Formation. These represent the main source
rock for the gas in the northern part of the basin:
although lean (1% TOC, type III), they are very thick
and may reach high maturities.
Early Postrift (Early to Middle Miocene): This se-
quence, corresponding to the Peutu Formation, com-
prises thick basinal deeper marine shales and marls, with
extensive reefoid carbonate buildups developed on
structural highs. The latter form excellent reservoirs,
with porosities averaging 16% in the Arun eld. Deep
water sandy facies (Belumai Fm) are present in the
Late Postrift (Middle Miocene to Pliocene): This
regressive sequence comprises the argillaceous Baong
Fm (in which turbidite sands occur) and the overlying
paralic shales, silts and sands of the Keutapang and
Seurula formations. In the north, deeper marine facies
continued, while towards the southeast, these forma-
tions became shallower with the deposition of regressive
deltaic sands of moderate to good reservoir quality.
Tectonic development in the basin is subdued. Following
the Palaeogene rift formation, a Late Oligocene local
unconformity and a Mid Miocene regional unconformity
are recorded, while the deltaic sequence in the southeast
was folded during successive wrench phases in the Middle
Miocene to Pliocene.
5.1.1. Petroleum systems
Two major systems are recognized:
The BampoPeutu (!) petroleum system (Buck and
McCulloh, 1994) is present in the north. It is sourced from
the deep marine Bampo Formation, with a possible
secondary contribution from the Miocene Peutu Forma-
tion. The main reservoir/traps are carbonate build-ups of
the Peutu (or Arun) Formation, with minor contribution
from the equivalent sandy Belumai Formation and base-
ment. Fifteen trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas and 1 billion
barrels (bbl) of condensate, respectively, have been located
in 10 elds, dominated by the Arun eld with almost 14 tcf
of gas. This system comprises a late synrift source of early
postrift afnity and early postrift reservoir and traps.
The BaongKeutapang (!) petroleum system, located in
the southeast, is more oil-prone and contains many of the
shallow elds that produced the rst reserves in Indonesia.
Charge is thought to be derived from marine/deltaic coaly
source rocks of the Baong Formation, but re-migration
from deeper reservoirs may also contribute. Reservoirs
occur in the rather ill-sorted sandy deltaic facies of the late
postrift Keutapang and Seurula formations, representing
cyclic regressive phases. About 75% of the elds produce
or produced both oil and gas, and all hydrocarbons are
characterized by API gravities of over 40. Traps are mainly
dip closures related to NWSE trending folds, and most
are faulted to some extent (only a few are clearly related to
thrusts). Stratigraphic pinch-outs appear to contribute to
trapping in some cases, but in only one eld (Peudawa)
does the trap appear to be primarily stratigraphic.
Howes and Tisnawijaya (1995) distinguished a potential
third petroleum system in the basin, the MioceneBelumai
( ) petroleum system to which a few elds in the far south
of the basin (e.g. Wampu) may belong.
Creaming curves for oil/condensate and gas (Howes and
Tisnawijaya, 1995) demonstrate that North Sumatra is a
highly mature province that has been explored with
moderate efciency.
H. Doust, R.A. Noble / Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103129 110
Fig. 5. Stratigraphic sections of northern and eastern Indonesian basins, showing basin stage, common formation names, lithology and predominant
depositional environments (thicknesses are not indicated).
H. Doust, R.A. Noble / Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103129 111
5.2. Central Sumatra Basin
The Central Sumatra Basin comprises a number of
separate synrift grabens below a postrift sequence (Williams
and Eubank, 1995). Most of the many hydrocarbon
accumulations present lie directly above or adjacent
to the synrift grabens, a consequence of the relatively
shallow burial and immaturity of the postrift sequence
(Fig. 7).
The ve productive grabens (Bengkalis, Aman, Balam,
Tanjung Medan and Kiri/Rangau) contain similar strati-
graphic successions with relatively proximal facies associa-
tions (Williams and Eubank, 1995). They were formed
along pre-Tertiary structural trends (northsouth and
WNWESE) and originated as half-grabens in an oblique
extension stress regime. The four-stage basin history can be
recognized, as follows:
Early Synrift (Late Eocene to Oligocene): Pematang and
Kelesa formations. These consist of an association of
alluvial, shallow to deep lacustrine and uvio-deltaic
facies represented by laminated shales, silts and sands
with coals and conglomeratic intervals. Deep lake
organic rich shales containing algal/amorphous material
with thin sands (Brown Shale Formation), and shallow
lake light grey shales with humic coals ensure that
charge from the early synrift is mixed lacustrine and
terrestrial, mainly type I/II, within which four oil
families have been distinguished (Katz, 1995). The best
reservoirs are found in uvio-deltaic sands, where
porosities and permeabilities may be up to 17% and
100 mD, respectively.
Late SynriftEarly Postrift (Late Oligocene to Early
Miocene): This sequence, equivalent to much of the
Sihapas Group, includes several paralic facies that
record a gradual transgression: The Menggala Forma-
tion is still uvial, but is overlain by shallow marine
sandy (Bekasap Formation) and argillaceous (Bangko
Formation) facies, the latter forming a regional seal.
The Menggala and Bekasap formations contain the best
reservoirs of the basin, with porosities of the order of
25% and permeabilities of up to four Darcies.
Fig. 6. North Sumatra Basinsimplied location and structure map
showing depocenters and oil/gas elds classied according to the basin
stage in which they occur.
Fig. 7. Central Sumatra Basinsimplied location and structure map
showing synrift basins (inferred to be areas of hydrocarbon generation)
and oil/gas elds classied according to the basin stage of the reservoir in
which they occur. Oil families (14) and typical trap types described by
characteristic elds are from Williams and Eubank (1995).
H. Doust, R.A. Noble / Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103129 112
Early Postrift (Early to Middle Miocene): This includes
the distal marine facies of the Sihapas Group, which
records the nal stages of transgression (Duri Forma-
tion delta front sands and shales) followed by the period
of maximum Tertiary ooding (Telisa Formation shales
and silts).
Late Postrift (Middle Miocene to Quaternary): This stage
represents the Late Tertiary sedimentary ll of the basin,
and includes regressive deltaic and alluvial sediments
interrupted by several unconformities. Only the deepest
part of this sequence (Petani Formation with marine
shales, sands and coals) has signicance for petroleum
Three phases of geodynamic development are recognized:
An EoceneOligocene extensional phase with four
sub phases as indicated here (Williams and Eubank,
1995), leading to formation of the synrift grabens and
early deformation of the sedimentary ll (Shaw et al.,
1997). The rst three sub-phases correspond to the
early synrift period, while phase 4 belongs to the late
1. Early Eocene: NS and NWSE shearing and
formation of isolated rifts and half grabens, with
the major boundary faults on the western anks.
2. Middle Eocene: rapid subsidence.
3. Oligocene: continued subsidence and episodic dextral
4. Late OligoceneEarly Miocene: waning subsidence
accompanied by uplift.
An EarlyMiddle Miocene phase of uplift and gentle
folding accompanied by wrench faulting along a
NWSE (Barisan) trend. This period follows the early
postrift. It was responsible for the formation of most of
the structural traps, such as the forced drapes over the
basin margin faults.
Movement continued up to the Plio-Pleistocene in the
form of NWSE dextral wrench faulting, corresponding
to the nal stage of postrift development.
5.2.1. Petroleum systems
In the Central Sumatra Basin almost all of the
hydrocarbons appear to have been derived from lacustrine
to terrestrial source rocks of the early synrift stage, possibly
with some contribution from coals of the late synrift. Four
families of oils are recognized (Williams and Eubank,
1995), essentially related to variations in the synrift source
facies (Fig. 7). Potential source beds in the postrift are
Reservoir levels occur throughout the sequence,
although the bulk of the elds are found at multiple levels
below regional seals in the early postrift (Bangko and
Telisa formations). We can thus recognize a single, though
complex, petroleum system, called the PematangSihapas
(!) system as dened by Howes and Tisnawijaya (1995) with
three subdivisions: PematangPematang (approximately
20 accumulations), PematangSihapas (approximately 90
accumulations) and PematangDuri (approximately 23
The following trap types can be recognized in the IPA
Atlas (Indonesian Petroleum Association, 1991a, b) listing
of just over 100 elds: (1) dip closures related to simple
folds and drape (59 accumulations), thrusts (44 accumula-
tions) and wrench faults (7 accumulations), affecting both
syn- and postrift sequences, (2) fault-dip, mainly footwall
closures (22 accumulations), and (3) basement topography
(2 accumulations only). In 12 accumulations, stratigraphic
pinch-outs appear to contribute to trapping. There appear,
however, to be no elds in which the trapping is primarily
Williams and Eubank (1995) noted that most of the
oilelds are concentrated in drape structures over basement
palaeo-highs and along the eastern anks of the half
graben rifts updip of the basin centre source rocks, while
others are developed in drag and inversion folds (Sunda
folds) adjacent to the basin boundary faults. Repeated
phases of structural movement are evident from variations
in the thickness of the sequence.
In total about 25 billion barrels STOIIP have been
located in the basin, of which 8 and 4 billion barrels are
located in the Minas and Duri elds, respectively. The
Minas eld is the largest in SE Asia. Noticeable is the lack
of gas, illustrative of the dominance of the highly oil-prone
lacustrine charge of Petroleum System 1 (Schiefelbein
and Cameron, 1997). The creaming curve (Howes and
Tisnawijaya, 1995) is indicative of efcient exploration and
a very mature province.
5.3. South Sumatra Basin
The South Sumatra Basin also comprises a series of
semi-connected NNWSSE trending synrift basins
with a common postrift sequence (Bishop, 2000a). Two
main rift provinces are recognized, both of which
contain hydrocarbon elds. The smaller and more prox-
imal of the two is Jambi, whereas the larger and deeper is
situated in the Palembang area. Most of the oil and
gas elds are concentrated along thrust and fold trends
above or close to the areas of active mature source rocks
(Fig. 8).
Early Synrift (Eocene to Early Oligocene): This
comprises the continental Lahat and Lematang forma-
tions. These are separated by an unconformity, indicat-
ing that at least two phases of rift formation were
involved. Facies include alluvial, lacustrine and brack-
ish-water sediments represented by tuffaceous sands,
conglomerates and claystones. In places the sequence
may be over 1 km thick. The Lahat Formation contains
both source and reservoir rocks, both very variable in
character and quality (Williams et al., 1995).
Late Synrift (Late Oligocene to Early Miocene): The
main part of this sequence comprises a retro-regressive
H. Doust, R.A. Noble / Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103129 113
deltaic section belonging to the Talang Akar Formation,
by far the most important reservoir in the basin and
strongly time transgressive. Sediments were derived
from the northeast and the facies deepen south-
westwards from uvial to basinal. Reservoirs include
delta plain to marine sands, silts and shales. Many of the
sands are quartzose (derived from the Sunda shelf) and
are of good quality with porosities of up to 25%. Coals
and coaly shales of the Talang Akar Formation
represent important type II and III source rocks.
Early Postrift (Early to Middle Miocene): During this
transgressive marine period, platform and build-up
carbonates of the Batu Raja Formation accumulated
above the rift shoulders, while deeper marine shales
(Gumai or Telisa Formation) were deposited above the
synrift grabens. Bathyal environments lay to the south-
west, where the sequence is very thick (over 2 km). The
Batu Raja is in an important reservoir, with porosities of
up to 38% in reefoid facies. The Gumai Formation
represents an excellent regional seal for the underlying
deltaic formations.
Late Postrift (Middle Miocene to Quaternary): During
the late postrift stage, two phases of deltaic prograda-
tion, represented by the Air Benakat and Muara Enim
Formations (also called the Lower to Middle Palem-
bang) lled the basin, gradually covering larger areas
as the environment became shallower, so that by
Quaternary times widespread alluvial continental sedi-
ments accumulated. The sands contain reservoirs with
good porosities of up to 25%.
Three main tectonic phases are recognized:
Paleocene to Early Miocene extension and graben
Early Miocene to Early Pliocene quiescence, with some
normal faulting; and
Pliocene to Recent thick-skinned dextral transpression
and inversion, forming extensive sub-parallel WNWESE
anticlinal trends.
5.3.1. Petroleum systems
The South Sumatra Basin is a large and complex area, in
which multiple hydrocarbon source and reservoir systems
are present. Bishop (2000a), however, related all accumula-
tions to the LahatTalang Akar (!) petroleum system, while
noting that considerable mixing of oils derived from lacustrine
and paralic sources is evident. Howes and Tisnawijaya (1995)
also recognized only one PS, the Talang Akar (!).
From our analysis, based on Indonesian Petroleum
Association (1990), we believe that four distinct areas can
be distinguished (Fig. 8). In the absence of more precise
geochemical typing, we cannot clearly ascribe each of these
to an individual petroleum system; however, the primary
reservoir level differs in each case and the accumulations
probably have a mixed charge. We can therefore look upon
these as potentially suggestive for four separate petroleum
1. Mainly developed in the Jambi and Merangan sub-
basins, contains oil and gas accumulations in the late
postrift sequence. Assuming that charge is derived from
deltaic source rocks, this petroleum system may be
referred to as the Talang Akar/PalembangPalembang
(.) PS.
2. Located in the Jambi sub-basin, comprises a single gas
eld (Grissik) located in early postrift reservoirs. This
eld could also be sourced from the early postrift section
and, if so, could represent a hypothetical GumaiGumai
(?) PS.
3. Located in the Palembang area, contains nearly all of
the larger oil and gas elds in the basin and is developed
in the late synrift Talang Akar and early postrift Batu
Raja formations. This is the Lahat/Talang AkarTalang
Akar (!) PS.
Fig. 8. South Sumatra Basinsimplied location and structure map
showing inferred areas of active hydrocarbon generation, and oil/gas elds
classied according to the basin stage in which the main reservoir occurs.
The location of potential petroleum sub-systems are indicated (14).
Signicant elds (410 million barrels) are numbered.
H. Doust, R.A. Noble / Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103129 114
4. In the Muara Enim area (close to the mountain front),
contains a number of smaller oil elds. This represents
the same type of petroleum system as 1 (above),
although the fact that almost all the elds produce oil
only suggests that they may be either charged from a
separate source area, or that maturity and retention
dene a different oil and gas mix.
Traps in both the synrift and postrift sequences are
dominantly anticlinal, associated with elongate inversion
trends, and many are reverse or thrust faulted, especially
where the WNWESE fold trends cross NStrending rift
boundary fault trends. Several elds are fault dependant
(largely footwall closures), while the relief of traps in the
Batu Raja carbonates is often enhanced by reefoid facies
developments up to 100 m thick. Stratigraphic pinch-out
on structural noses and basement onlap are responsible for
trapping in a small number of syn- to early postrift
The creaming curve for oil suggests that the basin is
mature (Howes and Tisnawijaya, 1995), but there is little
sign of creaming in the gas discovery trend, and more gas
discoveries could be expected.
5.4. The Natuna Sea
The Natuna Sea is divided into two distinct petroleum
provinces by a broad ridge, the Natuna Arch (Fig. 9). The
two have a common early history, but the western basin
complex remained more proximal than the eastern area in
the postrift period.
Early Synrift (Late Eocene to Early Oligocene): The
sequence comprises uvio-deltaic to uvial and alluvial
sands of the Lama Formation overlain by shallow
lacustrine shales of the Benua Formation, which locally
form rich oil and gas source rocks. Above these lie
uvio-deltaic sands and shales of the Lower Gabus Fm.
Late Synrift (Late Oligocene to Early Miocene): Deposition
of lacustrine to uvio-deltaic sediments of the Keras and
Upper Gabus formations continued during this period.
Early Postrift (Early to Middle Miocene): This period
was marked by a marine transgression and is repre-
sented by shales of the Barat and Arang formations. In
western Natuna, the former are non-marine with coals,
while in eastern Natuna they are open marine. Condi-
tions on structural highs were favourable for the
later development of platform and reefoid carbonates
(Terumbu Formation).
Late Postrift (Late Miocene to Quaternary): During this
period conditions remained shallow marine, partially
restricted, and claystones of the Muda Formation were
deposited. Minor developments of deltaic sands are
recorded locally.
The tectonic history of the Natuna basins is complex,
being signicantly different from west to east. Late Eocene
to Oligocene extension phases were responsible for forma-
tion of the rifts throughout the area, while Early to Middle
Miocene NESW and NWSE wrench movements record-
ing complex plate readjustments affected west Natuna,
producing basin margin inversions. In east Natuna, open-
ing of the South China Sea continued until late in the
Tertiary and there is little evidence for compressional
movements. Local to regional unconformities are present
at the end of the early synrift and during the early postrift
5.4.1. Petroleum systems
In West Natuna many hydrocarbon elds are associated
with Sunda-type inversion folds formed in the Miocene
adjacent to the main boundary faults of a number of the
rift basins. These dip-closed anticlinal structures are
sometimes associated with thrusts and are often faulted.
The charge is derived from synrift lacustrine shales and the
main reservoirs comprise paralic to marine sands of the
Gabus Formation. Keras and Barat shales form efcient
regional seals. Most of the elds are shallow (maximum
Fig. 9. Natuna Sea basinssimplied location and structure map
showing inferred areas of active hydrocarbon generation and oil/gas elds
classied according to the basin stage in which they occur.
H. Doust, R.A. Noble / Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103129 115
2 km), have high API gravities and produce both oil and
gas. In comparison to other basins with similar stratigra-
phy, there are a few elds. This is due to the fact that traps
are largely limited to complex wrench-reactivated bound-
ary fault zones with NESW or NWSE orientations.
Along such fault trends, several small fault-dependant
elds may be clustered. This petroleum system is known as
the BenuaGabus (!) PS.
One large, as yet non-productive gas eld, D-Alpha is
present in a large carbonate buildup in eastern Natuna
(May and Eyles, 1985). The gas contains a high percentage
of CO
, suggesting that the charge is derived from deep-
seated sources associated with crustal faults along the
western margin of the South China Sea. Hydrocarbon
charge for this PS may be derived partly from the pre-rift,
but is more likely to be derived from the synrift and it is
referred to here as the TertiaryTerumbu (.) PS.
The creaming curves for Natuna presented by Howes
and Tisnawijaya (1995) show no signs of creaming.
However, the number of elds is too small to provide
reliable statistics. The complex geology and continuous
tectonics have led to signicant issues related to the timing
of migration versus trap formation. Re-migration may be
common, and this is probably reected in the apparently
poor nding efciency.
5.5. Sunda and Asri basins
The geology of these two rich hydrocarbon basins shows
many similarities to one another, as described by Bushnell
and Temansja (1986), Wight et al. (1997) and Sukanto et al.
(1998). The location of major elds and structural elements
are shown in Fig. 10. The stratigraphic nomenclature is
similar to that of South Sumatra.
Early Synrift (Early Oligocene): This is represented by
the Banuwati Formation, an excellent lacustrine deep
water type I source rock with TOC of up to 8% and a
hydrogen index (HI) of up to 650 mg/g. A basal
marginal alluvial sandy/conglomeratic facies, without
source potential, also occurs.
Late Synrift (Late Oligocene to Early Miocene): This
stage commences with uvio-deltaic sediments of the
Talang Akar Formation, and continues with Batu Raja
carbonates, as in South Sumatra. Both form excellent
reservoirs. A coaly-shale potential source horizon is also
present, but although rich, is immature at this level.
Intraformational shale seals are found in the upper part
of the sequence (upper Gita member).
Early Postrift (Middle Miocene): Transgressive marine
shales of the Air Benakat Formation form excellent
seals for the underlying reservoirs.
Late Postrift (Late Miocene to Quaternary): This
regressive sequence (Cisubuh Formation) culminates in
deltaic sediments with coals, but lies too shallow to
contribute to hydrocarbon generation.
The tectonics of these isolated basins is highly subdued
compared to other Sumatran basins. The evolution
includes pre- to Early Oligocene rift formation resulting
in half grabens along en-echelon faults, followed by synrift
subsidence and a quiet postrift stage with limited wrench
5.5.1. Petroleum systems
The BanuwatiTalang Akar (!) PS. Howes and Tisnawi-
jaya (1995) called this the BanuwatiBatu Raja PS. It
includes all of the hydrocarbons trapped in the Sunda
Basin. Deltaic sands of the Talang Akar Formation as well
as onlapping platform carbonates and reefs of the over-
lying Batu Raja Formation form important reservoirs,
often in combination. The elds are concentrated on inter-
basinal highs and horsts and in footwall closures along
faulted noses on the gentle basin ank. A total of about 950
millionboe (barrels of oil-equivalent) has been discovered,
of which 90% is oil. According to Bishop (2000b) 75% of
reserves are located in the Talang Akar Formation.
Fig. 10. NW Java, Sunda and Asri basinssimplied location and
structure map showing inferred areas of hydrocarbon generation and oil/
gas elds classied according to the basin stage in which the main reservoir
is developed.
H. Doust, R.A. Noble / Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103129 116
In the Asri Basin, the same elements of the petroleum
system occur, but all accumulations are in Talang Akar
sands as the Batu Raja reservoir is absent. Approximately
500 millionboe has been discovered in nine elds, mainly
in faulted anticlines on the half-graben dip ank. In
the Widuri Field, trapping is assisted by stratigraphic
pinch-out (Carter, 2003).
Sukanto et al. (1998) proposed that oil-saturated sands
in the early synrift indicate that a second PS is present in
the Asri Basin. They referred to this as the Banuwati
Harriet (.) PS. However, there is as yet no commercial
production from it.
The creaming curves of these two basins are different.
Although the Sunda curve suggests relatively efcient
exploration, the 1988 discovery of the Widuri eld
conrmed the prospectivity of the Asri Basin at a very
late stage. Short and abundant migration paths from the
basin centres leading to accumulations in the best
reservoirs (Talang Akar and Batu Raja) on the basin
anks contribute to the efciency of the system, as does the
presence of a widespread claystone seal.
5.6. Northwest Java
The Northwest Java Basin (Fig. 10) lies both on and
offshore and comprises two main half graben-dened
depocentres: the rich offshore Ardjuna Basin towards the
west and the onshore Jatibarang Basin in the southeast
(Noble et al., 1997). The onshore and nearshore areas
contain clastic wedges derived from the Java hinterland in
the postrift, while the more distal offshore areas remained
dominated by carbonates.
Early Synrift (Late Eocene to Early Oligocene): This
comprises tuffs and minor interbedded lacustrine shales
of the Jatibarang Formation. Volcaniclastics provide the
reservoir facies for some onshore Java elds, whereas
the source rock appears to have a signicant deltaic
component, indicative of major contributions from the
overlying Talang Akar Formation.
Late Synrift (Late Oligocene to Early Miocene): As in
South Sumatra, this sequence comprises a transgressive
sequence of uvio-deltaic, coastal and shallow marine
sands, shales and coals (Talang Akar Formation),
followed by platform and reefoid carbonates (Batu
Raja Formation), both of which are productive.
Early Postrift (Early to Middle Miocene): In contrast to the
basins further to the west, parts of the Java basins remained
in an open to distal marine carbonate environment longer.
This makes it difcult to distinguish early from late postrift
stages. While a number of regressive clastic deltaic phases
are recognized onshore and nearshore in the Cibulakan
Formation, much of the area is characterized by shelf
marine sands (Massive and Main) that are important
reservoirs in offshore northwest Java.
Late Postrift (Late Miocene to Quaternary): Platform
carbonates and regressive clastics of the Parigi and
Cisubuh formations reect a reduction in subsidence
and the onset of inversion movements linked to Pliocene
folding in the south.
The tectonic history of the area (Gresko et al., 1995) can
be traced back to the earliest Tertiary, when cooling
followed metamorphism of the basement rocks. Rifting
related to dextral wrenching followed in the Eocene
(5040 Ma), while Middle to Late Miocene collision events
(dated 175 Ma) led to repeated local inversions along the
onshore trend.
5.6.1. Petroleum systems
Howes and Tisnawijaya (1995) recognized two primary
petroleum systems in the area. The dominant one is the
Talang AkarMain/Massive (!) PS, and is characteristic of
the offshore Arjuna Basin. Charge is derived from the late
synrift Talang Akar coals and coaly shales, while most of
the accumulations are located in Cibulakan sandstones of
the early postrift (Massive and Main). Although
multiple reservoirs are represented, only few elds are
found in early and late synrift or late postrift reservoirs.
The second petroleum system proposed by Howes and
Tisnawijaya (1995) is represented by the early synrift
Jatibarang interval, located in the onshore, and which
includes the Jatibarang Field, the only accumulation to
have been located in this highly faulted tuffaceous
reservoir. However, a more detailed study of Northwest
Java by Noble et al. (1997) indicated that the Talang Akar
source system was overwhelmingly the major contributor
of oil and gas in all of the sub-basins, including the onshore
region. Seven primary depocenters were recognized which,
based on geochemical data, showed strong oil-source
correlations with Talang Akar coals and carbonaceous
shales. Facies variations within the Talang Akar source
rocks were noted, ranging from uviodeltaic to marginal
marine. In contrast to other Sunda-style basins in the
JavaSumatra region, no evidence was found to support
major charge from the lacustrine synrift sequence.
Of the traps described in the IPA Field Atlas volume IV
(Indonesian Petroleum Association, 1989a, b), at least half
are formed by anticlines, many of them highly faulted.
Fault-dependant closures, mainly footwalls are also
common, while a few elds are trapped in reefoid
carbonate mounds. As in other basins, stratigraphic
trapping plays a minor contributory role only.
A separate petroleum system, referred to as the
BiogenicParigi (.) petroleum system, has been proposed
to cover shallow biogenic gas accumulations in carbonates
of the late postrift. The charge for accumulations within
this system comes from biogenic conversion of organic
matter at shallow depth, while reservoirs comprise north
south trending porous bioherms in the southern part of the
NW Java offshore (e.g. APN eld).
The Arjuna Basin, as in many offshore provinces, shows
high exploration efciency for oil and suggests that little
remains to be found. For gas, the curve suggests that as yet,
H. Doust, R.A. Noble / Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103129 117
creaming has not been achieved. The Jatibarang sub-basin
curve is typical of complex situations where one, probably
stratigraphically assisted trap, dominates the basin.
5.7. Northeast Java
The East Java Basin area comprises a complex of
NESW trending troughs, separated by ridges and arches
(Fig. 11). Several of these basins contain hydrocarbon
accumulations while several others represent, as yet,
frontier provinces. As in West Java, there are signicant
differences between the clastic dominated onshore basins in
the southwest and the carbonate-dominated areas below
the East Java Sea.
Early Synrift (Late Eocene to Early Oligocene): This is
represented by the Ngimbang Formation, in which a
basal lacustrine to paralic sequence with source rocks is
rapidly succeeded by open marine shales with sands and
Late Synrift (Late Oligocene to Early Miocene): This
sedimentary unit is dominated by platform and reefoid
carbonates of the Kujung and Prupuh formations with,
at the base, marine shales (with thin sands) indicating
that this basin lay close to the continent margin at this
Early Postrift (Early to Late Miocene): At the beginning
of this period, the carbonate platforms were drowned
and extensive deeper marine clastics (Tuban and
Woncolo Formation shales and Ngrayong Formation
sands) were deposited. Locally, carbonates persisted and
volcaniclastics are present.
Late Postrift (Late Miocene to Quaternary): Local
tectonics and widespread active volcanism dominated
this period, so that a variety of sequences is developed,
including marine clays, volcaniclastics, carbonates and
sands, deposited in a variety of shallow to deeper water
The tectonic history passes through Eocene to Early
Oligocene rifting stages, during which a number of half
grabens were formed, followed by a phase of quiescence
and, starting in the late Miocene (at 7 Ma), local
deformation and active volcanism. The onshore fold belt
is complex, and is thought to originate from oblique
wrenching of basement and inversion involving unstable
shale sequences (possibly including gravity-induced growth
faults). In the offshore area east of Madura, active
wrenching along EW trends has resulted in the formation
of extensive and very young inversion structures (e.g. in the
Kangean Island area north of Bali).
5.7.1. Petroleum systems
Five petroleum systems have been recognized in North-
east Java, as originally proposed by Howes and Tisnawi-
jaya (1995) and subsequently updated:
1. NgimbangOK Ngrayong (.) PS in the Cepu area of East
2. NgimbangNgimbang (!) PS in the Kangean area
offshore area north of Bali;
3. NgimbangKujung (!) PS in the Cepu amd Madura
4. TertiaryMiocene (.) PS in the Muriah Basinthis is
largely a biogenic gas system; and
5. TertiaryPliocene (!) PS in the southeast Madura and
north Bali areas, a biogenic gas system.
Fields in the IPA Field Atlas volume IV (Indonesian
Petroleum Association, 1989b) comprise mainly older oil
accumulations from onshore east Java. By far, the majority
of these are located in sandstones and calcareous sand-
stones of the early postrift Ngrayong, OK, Tuban and
Woncolo formations, and with a few exceptions, they occur
in shallow faulted and detached thrust anticlines of small
dimensions and now are shut-in or abandoned. A few elds
occur in reef limestone of the late synrift, while some others
Fig. 11. East Java Basinsimplied location and structure map showing
inferred areas of hydrocarbon generation and oil/gas elds classied
according to the basin stage in which the main reservoir occurs.
H. Doust, R.A. Noble / Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103129 118
are found in calcareous and volcanic sands of the late
The three petroleum systems of greatest commercial
signicance at the present time are the NgimbangKujung
(!), NgimbangNgimbang (!) and TertiaryPliocene (!). The
NgimbangKujung PS is actively being pursued in the
Madura and East Java basins, targeting the Kujung and
CD carbonate reservoirs (Essam Sharaf et al., 2005).
Further to the east, large offshore gas discoveries have
been made in the late synrift section (e.g. Pagerungan,
Kangean Barat). The origin of this gas is likely to be from
over mature Ngimbang uvio-deltaic coaly source rocks,
which have also sourced oil accumulations (e.g. JS53).
Biogenic gas elds from the TertiaryPliocene system, such
as TerangSirasun (1.1 tcf) are also attracting industry
Exploration in East Java has a long history, dating from
the late 19th century, when many of the small onshore
elds were discovered. Following a long period without
success, the move offshore in the late 1970s has resulted in
a signicant rejuvenation of oil discoveries and spectacular
success in locating large gas elds. Onshore exploration has
also been rekindled, with the Kujung play in the Cepu area
bringing new life to an old basin. Recent discoveries in the
Cepu area rank amongst the largest made in Indonesia over
the past 20 years.
5.8. Barito Basin
The Barito Basin of southern Kalimantan (Fig. 12),
though older than most other basins in West Indonesia,
passed through a similar history, with syn- and postrift
stages. The maximum transgression interval appears to be
late Oligocene in age. The bulk of the synrift sequence
belongs to cycles of the Tanjung Group.
Early Synrift (Paleocene to Early Eocene): In at least ve
rift basins, alluvial to lacustrine sediments, with good
source rock potential accumulated.
Late Synrift (Middle to Late Eocene): During this
period, retroregressive uvio-deltaic sediments with
coals, followed by marine shales with carbonates were
Early Postrift (Oligocene to Early Miocene): During this
period, stable marine conditions prevailed and shallow
marine carbonates of the Berai Formation covered
much of the area. A minor regressive phase is recorded
in the Late Oligocene.
Late Postrift (Middle Miocene to Quaternary): Uplifts
led to the development of regressive deltaic conditions
and the carbonates were drowned by regressive clastics
of the Warukin and Dahor formations.
Early Tertiary rifting along NWSE trends followed
Late Jurassic to Cretaceous emplacement of the Meratus
ophiolitic complex along the southeast margin of Sunda-
land (Hutchinson, 1996), and led to the development of
horsts and grabens in the Barito Basin. In the Late
Tertiary, continuous compression and uplift of the
Meratus mountains led to the sinistral reactivation of the
graben boundary faults (Satyana et al., 1999).
5.8.1. Petroleum systems
TanjungTanjung (!) petroleum system: the few elds in
the basin produce oil (with API gravities of 30401) and gas
and are probably sourced from either highly mature
Tanjung Formation source rocks or a mixture of early
and late synrift lacustrine and deltaic source rocks.
In this complexly deformed basin, hydrocarbons are
trapped in prerift to postrift reservoir levels (basement
and Eocene to Miocene sands) in thrusted and highly
faulted anticlinal structures. At least half of the hydro-
carbons are located in one eld (Tanjung, discovered in
1937) and the creaming curve (Howes and Tisnawijaya,
1995) reects this.
Fig. 12. East Kalimantan, Barito and KuteiMahakam basinssimplied
location and structure map showing Barito Basin depocenter, Mahakam
Delta eld trends and oil/gas elds classied according to the basin stage
in which they occur.
H. Doust, R.A. Noble / Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103129 119
5.9. KuteiMahakam Delta Basin
The KuteiMahakam Delta Basin is the largest basin in
Indonesia (165,000 km
) and one of its richest hydrocarbon
provinces with several giant elds (Fig. 12). It has a
complex history (Moss et al., 1997), and is one of the only
Indonesian basins to have evolved from a rifted internal
fracture/foreland basin into a marginal-sag. Much of the
early basin ll in the Kutei Basin has been inverted and
exposed (Satyana et al., 1999), and the late postrift
Mahakam Delta dominates the prospectivity. The latter
also contains a deepwater continental margin play rare in
other Indonesian basins.
Early Synrift (Paleocene to Early Eocene): Sediments of this
stage comprise alluvial sediments lling in the topography
of NESW and NNESSW trending rifts in the onshore
Kutei Basin. They overlie a basement comprising late
Cretaceous to early Tertiary deep marine sequences.
Late Synrift (Middle to Late Eocene): During this
period, a major transgression took place in the Kutei
Basin, partly related to rifting in the Makassar Strait,
and bathyal shales with thin sands accumulated.
Early Postrift (Oligocene to Early Miocene): During this
period, bathyal conditions continued to dominate and
several thousand meters of predominantly shales accu-
mulated. On structurally shallow areas open marine
carbonate platforms were developed.
Late Postrift (Middle Miocene to Quaternary): From
Middle Miocene onwards a major passive margin deltaic
sequence prograded into the deep water Makassar Strait,
forming the Mahakam Delta sequence, the primary
hydrocarbon-bearing portion of the basin. A variety of
on- and offshore deltaic depositional environments are
developed in the Balikpapan and Kampung Baru forma-
tions, including deeper water slope and basin oor facies.
Excellent source and reservoir rocks are present, with
interbedded sealing shales. During this period, erosion
reworked large parts of the Kutei synrift sequence.
The tectonic history may be summarized as follows:
Following deformation of the late Cretaceous to earliest
Tertiary basement, extension and rifting associated with
opening of the Makassar Straits continued through to the
end of the Eocene. Oligocene subsidence and sag were
followed by inversion of the early Kutei Basin ll along its
initial boundary faults in the early Miocene, resulting in the
erosion of several thousand meters of the synrift sequence
(Satyana et al., 1999). This in turn led to a major deltaic
progradation over the continent margin to the east (to
form the Mahakam Delta sequence). Continental collisions
in the area are thought to have been responsible for
younger inversions affecting the early Miocene sequence.
Within the shelf Mahakam Delta sequence, the dominant
trap-forming mechanism comprises syn-sedimentary
growth faulting. The slope to basin oor section is chara-
cterized by toe-thrust structures.
5.9.1. Petroleum systems
In this basin, a number of petroleum systems can be
recognized, each with associated sub-systems:
1. In the onshore Kutei Basin, largely comprising inverted
synrift sequences where as yet few hydrocarbons have
been located, Howes and Tisnawijaya (1995) suggested
that an early synrift to early postrift petroleum system,
the TanjungBerai (.) PS may be developed. However, it
remains speculative.
2. The onshore to offshore Mahakam Delta, which
includes the majority of prospective sequences, belongs
to a thick, late postrift continental margin stage of
development. In this rich oil and gas province, almost all
of the hydrocarbons are sourced from and trapped in
reservoirs of the late postrift stage. Accordingly, the
deltaic BalikpapanBalikpapan (!) PS is overwhelmingly
the dominant one in this area. Reservoir sands,
belonging to a series of stacked regressive deltaic
progradational sequences range in age from Middle
Miocene to Pleistocene (Balikpapan to Kampung Baru
formations), and most accumulations occur at several
levels, separated by intraformational sealing shales
representing maximum ooding surfaces. As in other
Tertiary deltas, a range of trap types is represented,
(a) Hangingwall anticlinal rollovers associated with
growth faults, many cut by synthetic and antithetic
faults to form collapsed crest structures. Trap-
ping of individual stacked accumulations is partly-
fault dependant (i.e. in footwall or hanging wall
blocks). The structures are frequently dome-shaped
or oval in shape and occur mainly in nearshore and
shallow offshore areas.
(b) Elongated inverted anticlinal deltaic rollover struc-
tures with a NNESSW trend, related to thrusts and
reverse faults, often on both anks. These occur
primarily in the onshore part of the delta and
contain many of the larger elds. Characteristic of
many elds are cross faults that divide the
accumulations into separate units. McClay et al.
(2000) demonstrated that many of these structures
originate from inversion of growth-faulted struc-
tures above a ductile substrate.
(c) Stratigraphic traps related to deltaic sand bodies
encased in shales. In many cases stratigraphic
changes contribute to trapping only, for instance
where deltaic channels are draped over anticlinal
trends, but in a few cases sand pinch-out appears to
dene the trap (e.g. in the Bongkaran and Tambora
elds), while a hydrodynamic effect can sometimes
be identied.
Duval et al. (1998) summarized some of the most
important parameters that impact hydrocarbon pro-
spectivity. They indicated that the main charge for elds
in the Tambora and Tunu trends is derived from thick
H. Doust, R.A. Noble / Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103129 120
deltaic coals and coaly shales in the intervening syncline,
with minor contributions from a marine and leaner
source rock in the offshore trend between the Tunu and
Sisi elds. They noted that efcient short migration
paths up to 15 km in length lead from these charge
kitchens into adjacent structures. They noted a gradual
transition from oil, in more proximal anticlinal elds
(Tambora, Handil) to gas/condensate rich elds in more
distal trends, where source rocks are leaner, and thicker
shale packages restrict migration of heavier hydrocar-
bons. These observations relate to the shallow progra-
dational deltaic sequences.A number of anticlinal
structures contain oil and gas elds in early Miocene
regressive sands, for instance in the Wailawi eld. These
deltaic sands, with interbedded shales and coals (Klinjau
Formation) were deposited during the period of maxi-
mum transgression when carbonate facies were exten-
sively developed in the Kutei/Makakam area. They
provide evidence for the local strength of the deltaic
system and suggest that an early postrift petroleum
system exists in places. This can be referred to as the
KlinjauKlinjau (.) PS.
3. Recently, the focus of exploration has moved into the
deeper water portions of the delta, where elds are being
discovered in turbidite reservoirs deposited in slope
channel and basin oor systems. The discoveries belong
to a new petroleum system called the MioceneMio/
Pliocene (.) PS. Reservoir quality sands have been found
widely distributed in the Middle Miocene to Pliocene
section. The oil and gas accumulations are thought to
have received charge from organic matter of land plant
origin, transported into deep water settings by turbidity
ows (Dunham et al., 2001; Lin et al., 2000). Peters et al.
(2000) distinguished two maturity-related families of oil
derived from deep water systems, both less waxy than
the onshore oils.
Compressional anticlines and toe thrusts form the
primary structural traps in the Mahakam deepwater
system. Reservoir sands occur in conned amalgamated
channellevee complexes (e.g. Merah Besar and West
Seno discoveries), and as unconned sheet-like sub-
marine fans (Dunham and McKee, 2001). Due to the
nature of the sand bodies, opportunities clearly exist for
stratigraphic trapping. There is still much to be learned
about the geometry and productivity of these sand
bodies as additional discoveries are made and appraised.
The West Seno eld, discovered by Unocal in the late
1990s, is Indonesias rst deepwater development, the
rst barrel of oil being produced in mid-2003.
The KuteiMahakam Delta province is one of the richest
in Indonesia, with discoveries totalling more than 3.5
billion barrels of oil and 35 tcf of gas. It supports an
important and expanding LNG project. The creaming
curve for oil suggests that, unless signicant new reserves
are identied in the deep water, only small incremental
accumulations can be expected in the future. The gas curve,
on the other hand, which is characterized by a series of
steps reecting major discoveries, shows little evidence for
creaming. Such a relatively efcient creaming curve is
typical for deltaic areas in which there is a gradual seaward
shift in exploration as new technologies become available.
5.10. Tarakan Basin
The Tarakan Basin has a similar development to the
KuteiMahakam Basin (Lentini and Darman, 1996), which
it resembles in many ways (Fig. 13). It comprises four sub-
basins, two onshore (the Tidung and Berau synrift basins
mainly Late Eocene to Middle Miocene), and two offshore
(the BelunganTarakan and Muara postrift basins with
mainly younger ll). As in the KuteiMahakam Basin,
hydrocarbons have been located in the late postrift stage
Early Synrift (Middle Eocene): This sequence is domi-
nated by volcanics and volcaniclastics of the Sembakang
Formation. It is highly tectonized.
Fig. 13. Tarakan Basinsimplied location and structure map showing
inferred areas of active hydrocarbon generation and Late Postrift oil/gas
eld trends.
H. Doust, R.A. Noble / Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103129 121
Late Synrift (Late Eocene): This comprises uvio-deltaic
to shallow marine shales, marking a rapid transgressive
Early Postrift (Oligocene to Early Miocene): This period
is dominated by open marine carbonate platform
development on shallow blocks, with deeper marine
environments represented by shales and marls in the
intervening depressions. Local late Oligocene uplift can
be linked to a minor clastic progradation from the west.
Late Postrift (Middle Miocene to Quaternary): This
forms the main hydrocarbon-bearing sequence and is
composed of a number of regressive progradations of
interbedded uvio-deltaic sands, shales and coals.
NESW trending growth faults intersect with four
NWSE trending fold trends. To the south and north
of the deltaic depocenters, carbonates continued to
Eocene rifting was followed by a generally quiescent
basin history, interrupted by a phase of uplift in the
onshore area in the Late Oligocene. Traps were formed in
the Pliocene and Pleistocene and rely on a combination of
growth faults and discrete NWSE trending compressional
folds and faults produced during a series of uplift and
inversion events.
5.10.1. Petroleum systems
All hydrocarbons in the Tarakan basin are derived from
and trapped in late postrift stage sediments. Source rocks
are Middle to Late Miocene coals and coaly shales of the
Tabul Formation, while uvio-deltaic sands belonging to
the Late Miocene Tabul and Plio-Pleistocene Tarakan
formations form the main reservoirs. A variety of trap
types are present, concentrated at points where growth
faults culminate above the NWSE trending anticlinal
arches. Several hangingwall dip closures, assisted or not by
fault closure are represented, as well as local pure footwall
closures. All accumulations belong to the TabulTarakan
(!) PS. The deepwater area remains largely unexplored to
date with only a few wells having been drilled, so far
without commercial success.
The creaming curve for this basin is dominated by the
discovery of the Bunyu eld in 1922. Since then only minor
quantities of mainly gas have been added.
5.11. Eastern Indonesia: Bula (Seram), Salawati, Bintuni
and East Sulawesi Basins
Eastern Indonesian Basins (Indonesian Petroleum Asso-
ciation, 1998) differ from those of western Indonesia
(Fig. 14). They include signicantly older sedimentary
sequences derived from slices of the Australian continental
margin that were incorporated in the eastern Indonesian
collision zone during the Middle and Late Tertiary
(Hutchinson, 1996). Thus, although Tertiary depositional
environment and lithofacies developments are recognizable,
the Tertiary synrift to postrift basin development cannot be
readily applied to the petroleum habitat.
The Bula Basin in Seram overlies and is partly
incorporated in a fold/thrust and zone formed where the
outer margin of Australian continental shelf collided
with Irian Jaya in the mid-Tertairy (Hutchinson, 1996).
The bulk of the sequence is composed of a variety of
Mesozoic to Middle Tertiary open marine pelagic and
oceanic deposits, including clays, limestones and thin
sands. The rst oil discoveries, which were made by the
Dutch in the early 1900s, focussed on Pliocene to
Pleistocene marginal marine sands and limestones. More
recent discoveries in the complex fold and thrust
belt successfully located oil in fractured Jurassic lime-
stones (e.g. Oseil Field; Charlton, 2004). Geochemical
studies (Peters et al., 1999) demonstrate that the oil is
derived from TriassicJurassic marine carbonate type II
source rocks.
Two hydrocarbon-bearing late Tertiary successor basins,
the Salawati and Bintuni basins, are found in the Birds
Head region of West Papua (formerly called Irian Jaya).
Both overlie Australian continental basement. Permian and
Mesozoic are known to occur in the Bintuni Basin and
provide an important hydrocarbon habitat.
In the Salawati Basin the pre-Tertiary does not
contribute to the petroleum system and if present, occurs
at depths of no commercial consequence:
Early Synrift (Paleocene to Eocene): During this period,
outer neritic to bathyal shales and carbonates of the
Waripi Formation were deposited, indicating that rift
formation took place in deep water.
Late Synrift (Late Eocene to Oligocene): The deepwater
environments were succeeded by a carbonate platform
(Fauma Formation) and deltaic clastics (Sirga Forma-
tion) as the rift was in-lled.
Early Postrift (Miocene): This period represents a
transgressive period during which extensive carbonate
platforms and reefs of the Kais Formation developed.
The reefs are surrounded by marginal clastics of the
deep water Klamogun Formation. This shoaled into
the Late Miocene. Rapid subsidence is evidenced
by high-standing pinnacle reefs. Charge in the basin
may be derived from marine type II/III source rock
marls and shales of the Klasafet Formation (Peters
et al., 1999).
Late Postrift (Plio-Pleistocene): A rapidly deposited and
very thick sequence of regressive clastics, including
sands and shales of the Klasaman Formation accumu-
lated. The underlying Late Miocene Klasafet source
rock attained maturity as a result of this thick
sedimentary wedge.
Following accretion of the basement sequence in the
Paleocene, subsidence was rapid in this continent margin
basin. Transcurrent movements along the Sorong fault
commenced in the late Miocene and led to uplift and
H. Doust, R.A. Noble / Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103129 122
erosion adjacent to the basinthis provided the sediments
for the late postrift that covered the Miocene carbonates.
Wrench movements have continued up to the present day.
The Tertiary section Wiriagar area (Fig. 14) of the
Bintuni Basin has a similar stratigraphy to the Salawati
Basin, with the exception that pinnacle reefs did not
develop to the same degree, perhaps due to excessive
subsidence rates. Low relief Kais Formation reefs, where
present, are known to contain oil, but the volumes are less
signicant than in the Salawati trend. The main petroleum
system of the Bintuni basin occurs within the Mesozoic
section, as indicated by the huge gas discoveries at
Wiriagar (Dolan and Hermany, 1988), Vorwata and
Ubadari (collectively known as the Tagguh eld). The
source for these hydrocarbons lies within a thick Permian
sequence, rich in type III coals, with some contributions
from overmature marine argillaceous type II/III source
rocks of the Mid-Late Jurassic.
The Tomori Basin of eastern Sulawesi (Fig. 14) bears
many similarities to the Salawati and Tertiary Bintuni
basinal areas. Left lateral strikeslip movements along the
Sorong fault have resulted in accretion of Australian
microcontinental fragments into the East Sulawesi and
Banggai-Sula regions (Milsom et al., 1999). Collision (Hall,
1997) and obduction of ophiolitic material in East
Sulawesi, thought to have occurred during the Pliocene,
created a foldthrust system with an associated foreland
basin called the Tomori Basin. In the Senoro-Toili
and Tiaka regions, both oil and gas have been found
in Miocene biohermal reservoirs of similar age to the
reservoirs in the Salawati and Buntuni basins (Davies,
5.11.1. Petroleum systems
In the Bula Basin, only one small producing eld is
present (Bula-Lemun, approximately 15 millionbbl). It
belongs to a petroleum system that can be dened as
having been charged from a TriassicJurassic marine
carbonate type II mudstone source rock and having a
Pleistocene reefoid sandy limestone reservoir. It is dened
here as the MesozoicFufa (!) PS. Two small oil elds, now
closed in, are located in marginal marine sandstone
reservoirs in the thrusted Jurassic and Triassic sequences,
indicating that a second petroleum system is present. This
we refer to the MesozoicManusela (.) PS, as dened by
Howes and Tisnawijaya (1995). A new discovery in this
petroleum system, the Oseil eld, is currently under
development (Nilandaroe et al., 2001).
The Salawati Basin is characterized by a compact area
with a rich petroleum system, from which more than
300 millionbbl of oil have been produced from 15 elds
(half of it from one eld, Walio). We refer to it as the
KlasafetKais (!) PS. It is characterized by the following
elements: Source rocklate Miocene marine shales and
Fig. 14. East Indonesia basinslocation map (top left), West Papua and Seram basins (Salawati, Bintuni and Bula, respectively, top right) and Tomori
Basin, Sulawesi (bottom left). Oil and gas elds are classied according to the basin stage in which they occur.
H. Doust, R.A. Noble / Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103129 123
marlstones (type II/III) of the Klasafet Formation;
reservoir rock/trapKais Formation limestones and do-
lomitic limestones in pinnacle reefs underlying surface
drape anticlines composed of sealing shales. The pinnacle
reefs are situated updip of the probable source kitchen to
the north, allowing for efcient migration from overlying
shales into porous migration conduits. In this small
province with a single play, exploration has been highly
efcient, as can be seen from the creaming curve (Howes
and Tisnawijaya, 1995). Following the mid-1970s few new
discoveries have been made and, as in many carbonate
provinces, the production has since been in steep decline.
Two petroleum systems are developed in the Bintuni
Basin area: the TertiaryKais (.) PS and the AifamRoabiba
(!) PS in the pre-Tertiary sequence. The TertiaryKais
system has yielded little in the way of commercial oil
discoveries, although with improved seismic, better deni-
tion and location of reefal facies may be possible. The
AifamRoabiba system is by far the more important,
giving rise to a major new LNG project based on the over
18 tcf of certied gas reserves of the Tangguh eld area.
The Roabiba sands, which form the primary reservoir, are
similar in age and properties to the highly productive
Plover Fm, well known from Timor Sea region of
the Northwest shelf of Australia (Whittam et al., 1996).
A secondary reservoir in Paleocene turbiditic sands is also
present, but the reservoir properties appear less uniform
than those of the primary Roabiba sands.
Structural development in the Tangguh area was two
fold: an early phase of Late Mesozoic postrift folding,
followed by Plio-Pleistocene compression associated with
the development of the Lengguru fold and thrust belt to the
east. Charge from the Permian/Jurassic source system was
initiated during the Pliocene by rapid subsidence and burial
within a foreland setting west of the Lengguru thrust front.
In the Tomori basin of East Sulawesi, two petroleum
systems have been observed to date. The rst is the
TomoriTomori (.) PS in which oil has been found in
fractured limestones of the Lower Miocene Tomori
Formation (Davies, 1990). The reservoir facies is a
platform limestone, with lower porosity and permeability
than the reefoid facies seen elsewhere in the region. Charge
for this system is derived from marine shales and marls of
the Lower Miocene Tomori Formation, which has
geochemical properties similar to those of the Klasafet
Formation in the Salawati basin (albeit of slightly different
age). The second system is the MinahakiMantawa (.) PS.
This system encompasses a series of gas discoveries in
biohermal reservoirs of the Late Miocene Mantawa
member of the Minahaki Formation. The gas appears to
be largely of biogenic origin, being derived from bacterial
conversion of organic matter in the surrounding Minahaki
and Matindok claystones. Some of the gas accumulations
have a small oil rim and elevated condensate yield,
indicating that a mixed source system is active, with oil
charge derived from the underlying Tomori shales (Noble
et al., 2000). Gas resources in this region are being
appraised with the possibility of future commercial
development for local or export markets.
6. Common petroleum systems and their development
In the above discussion, we have limited the petroleum
systems identied and discussed to those that occur in
productive hydrocarbon basins in Indonesia and which are
represented by elds or potentially commercial accumula-
tions. Indications for other systems that could, for
instance, be evidenced by promising source rock horizons
and/or seepages have not been included, nor have potential
petroleum systems in non-productive basins (of which there
are several). The reason for this is that the uncertainties
related to these potential and speculative petroleum
systems are so great that there is little to be learned from
themrather, the lessons derived from the known systems
discussed above should be applied to evaluate their
potential. For a more complete list of potential and
speculative systems (those without discoveries to date),
the reader should consult Howes and Tisnawijaya (1995)
and Bradshaw et al. (1997). The latter includes a list of
petroleum systems in the IndonesianAustralian Zone of
Cooperation (ZOCA).
The list of petroleum systems presented represents our
best estimate based on the principle of clustering those
within one basin area (as currently in common usage in
Indonesia) supported by geochemical correlation studies.
As the latter improve, the list will need constant revision.
6.1. Petroleum systems in their basin stage context
Most of the petroleum systems identied above can be
grouped into one of the four petroleum system types
described from SE Asia in general by Doust and Lijmbach
(1997) and shown in Fig. 15. We thus make a link between
the petroleum geology and the basin evolution, so that we
can identify the common elements of petroleum systems
developed in the four basin stages and bring out the
variations within themthe latter usually being related to
differences in the sequence of depositional environments. We
can recognize two categories in each petroleum system type:
Category (i): Those in which both source and reservoir
lie within the same basin stage (i.e. the PS is integral to
that stage).
Category (ii): Those in which the reservoir lies in
another, usually younger, basin stage than the source.
The basic petroleum system types described below
are sometimes shortened in the text and gures to PST 1,
PST 2, PST 3 and PST 4:
1. Early Synrift Lacustrine petroleum system type (PST 1)
Category (i)
PematangPematang (!) PS (Central Sumatra
H. Doust, R.A. Noble / Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103129 124
BanuwatiHarriet Mbr (.) PS, (Sunda/Asri
TanjungTanjung (!) PS, (Barito Basin).
Category (ii)
PematangSihapas (!) PS, reservoir in PST 2
(Central Sumatra Basin).
PematangDuri (!) PS, reservoir in PST 3 (Central
Sumatra Basin).
BenuaGabus (!) PS, reservoir in PST 2 (West
Natuna Sea).
BanuwatiTalang Akar (!) PS, reservoir in PST 2
(Sunda/Asri basins).
NgimbangKujung (.) PS, reservoir in PST 2
(NE Java Basin).
NgimbangNgrayong (.) PS, reservoir in PST 3
(NE Java Basin).
NgimbangPliocene (.) PS, reservoir in PST 4
(NE Java Basin).
TanjungKutei (.) PS, reservoir in PST 3 (Kutei
2. Late Synrift Transgressive Fluvio-deltaic petroleum
system type (PST 2)
Category (i)
Talang AkarTalang Akar (!) PS, includes possible
charge from PST 1 (South Sumatra Basin).
Category (ii)
BampoPeutu (!) PS, reservoir in PST 3 (North
Sumatra Basin).
Talang AkarPalembang (.) PS, reservoir in PST 4
(South Sumatra Basin).
Talang AkarMain/Massive (!) PS, reservoir in
PST 3 (NW Java Basin).
Talang AkarJatibarang (.) PS, reservoir in PST 1
(Jatibarang tuffs onshore Java).
3. Early Postrift Marine petroleum system type (PST 3)
Category (i)
GumaiGumai (.) PS (South Sumatra Basin).
TertiaryTerumbu (.) PS, origin of charge
unknown (East Natuna Sea).
KlinjauKlinjau (.) PS (Mahakam Delta Basin).
KlasafetKais (!) PS (Salawati Basin).
TertiaryKais (.) PS Bintuni Basin.
TomoriTomori (.) PS Tomori Basin.
4. Late Postrift Regressive Deltaic petroleum system type
(PST 4)
Category (i)
BaongKeutapang (!) PS (North Sumatra Basin).
BalikpapanBalikpapan (!) PS (Mahakam Delta
MioceneMio/Pliocene (.) PS (Deepwater Makas-
sar Straits).
TabulTarakan (!) PS (Tarakan Basin).
Category (ii)
TertiaryBelumai (.) PS, source possible Baong,
reservoir in PST 3 (North Sumatra Basin).
Fig. 15. The four petroleum system types (PSTs) typical of Southeast Asian Tertiary basins and their relation to basin stages, from Doust and Lijmbach,
(1997). A number of the most important characteristics of each are shown.
H. Doust, R.A. Noble / Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103129 125
A number of petroleum systems do not lend themselves
to classication in the four PSTs. These include:
BiogenicParigi (.) PS, for which the charge is biogenic
rather than thermogenic (NW Java);
MesozoicFufa (!) PS, charge from prerift Mesozoic into
reservoir in PST 4 (Bula Basin);
MesozoicManusela (.) PS, charge and reservoir in the
prerift Mesozoic (Bula Basin);
AifamRoabiba (!) PS, charge from pre-Mesozoic,
reservoir in Mesozoic early post rift (Bintuni Basin); and
MinahakiMantawa (.) PS, biogenic charge from Late
Miocene sediments (Tomori BSIN).
7. Basin families, their tectonostratigraphic evolution and
The distribution of the petroleum systems identied is
dependent on the sedimentary basin history. Knowledge of
the syn- and postrift basin evolution and the succession of
depositional environments makes it possible to identify
and/or predict which petroleum systems (and their
constituent plays) may be present. To aid this, we have
distinguished a number of characteristic Indonesian basin
families, which have distinct trajectories (Doust, 2003)
through a matrix of deepening depositional environment
and basin development phase (Fig. 16).
Proximal basins: These are basins that throughout their
development maintained relatively proximal depositional
environments. They are located close to the core of the pre-
Tertiary Sunda Craton.
Evolution: Early Synrift, lacustrine; Late Synrift, deltaic;
Early Postrift, marine (clastic); Late Postrift, deltaic.
Dominant petroleum system type(s): PST 1 Early Synrift
Example basins: Central Sumatra, West Natuna, Asri.
Proximal basins are strongly oil-prone, receiving charge
from rich early synrift lacustrine to deltaic source rocks.
The best reservoirs and most of the hydrocarbon accumu-
lations are situated in late synrift deltaic clastics, under-
lying the regional early postrift seal. The maintenance of
proximal environments implies that subsidence was lim-
ited, and maturity is often a crucial issue: typically elds
are located directly above active early synrift source
Intermediate basins: These have a typically proximal
synrift development, but underwent greater subsidence in
the postrift, where they are characterized by more distal
Evolution: Early Synrift, lacustrine to deltaic; Late
Synrift, deltaic; Early Postrift, marine (clastic and
carbonate); Late Postrift, deltaic.
Dominant petroleum system type(s): PST 2 Late Synrift
Transgressive Deltaic, PST 1 Early Synrift Lacustrine,
with minor PST 3 Early Postrift Marine.
Example basins: South Sumatra, East Natuna, Sunda,
NW Java onshore, NE Java onshore, Barito.
Intermediate basins contain the greatest diversity of
petroleum system types, thanks to their mixture of rich
synrift charge and postrift reservoirs. They are both oil and
gas prone thanks to the enhanced subsidence, which brings
the late synrift to maturity, thus allowing for a charge from
mixed early and late synrift lacustrine and deltaic sources.
The presence of marine clastic and carbonate reservoirs
covered by regional marine shales enhances the efciency
of these basins. The late postrift deltaic sequence contains
coaly source rocks and reservoir sands, but maturity is not
reached, so charge to this level can be achieved only where
the early postrift seal is proximal and breached (as in the
Jambi area of South Sumatra).
Fig. 16. Petroleum systems types in Indonesia grouped into families showing the depositional environment evolution in relation to tectonic basin stages,
after Doust (2003). Trajectories of Proximal, Intermediate, Distal and Borneo (Kalimantan) basins are shown.
H. Doust, R.A. Noble / Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103129 126
Distal basins: Distal basins occupy the edges of the pre-
Tertiary Sunda craton, and have either a history of
substantial subsidence or are located distally with respect
to postrift uplift and delta developments.
Evolution: Early Synrift, deltaic; Late Synrift, marine;
Early Postrift, marine (carbonate and clastic); Late
Postrift, deltaic to deeper marine.
Dominant petroleum system type(s): PST 2 Late Synrift
Transgressive Deltaic, PST 3 Early Postrift Marine, PST
4 Late Postrift Regressive Deltaic.
Example basins: North Sumatra, NW Java offshore, NE
Java offshore.
Distal basins were open to the ocean in the early synrift
and miss the lacustrine development, so most of the charge
is terrestrial (deltaic and/or marine). As a result, they tend
to be more gas prone (except in the case of the southern
part of North Sumatra, where the source and reservoir are
in the postrift stage). In many cases, the main reservoirs are
early postrift carbonatesthese basins lie outside the
inuence of the Tertiary clastic wedges.
Borneo basins: The KuteiMahakam and Tarakan basins
of Kalimantan belong to a family that developed on Late
Mesozoic to Tertiary crust and subsequently came to lie
along a passive continental margin. Early stages of basin
evolution were subjected to extensive inversion and only
the late postrift contributes to the petroleum geology.
Evolution: Early Synrift, alluvial; Late Synrift, deep
marine; Early Postrift, deep marine (carbonate and
clastic); Late Postrift, deltaic to deeper marine.
Dominant petroleum system type(s): PST 4 Late Postrift
Regressive Deltaic.
Example basins: KuteiMahakam, Tarakan.
These basins show the late postrift prospectivity best
they are very rich, with excellent deltaic reservoirs and
source rocks. The interbedded nature of the source,
reservoir and seals results in multiple stacked accumula-
tions, containing major reserves of both oil and gas.
Eastern Indonesian basins: These basins have complex
and variable histories, in which the tectonic development is
spread over the Mesozoic and Tertiary. Nevertheless, we
can still identify similar patterns as in the other basins in
the Tertiary.
Evolution: Early Synrift, open marine to deep water;
Late Synrift, carbonates and deltaics; Early Postrift,
carbonate platforms and marine clastics; Late Postrift,
Dominant Petroleum system type(s): MesozoicTertiary,
PST 3 Early Postrift Marine.
Example basins: Tomori, Bula, Salawati, Bintuni.
In the Salawati, Tertiary Bintuni and Tomori basins, the
charge appears to arise from Miocene source rocks. In
other areas, Mesozoic and pre-Mesozoic rocks with strong
afnity to Australian sequences provide both source and
More detail on the hydrocarbon habitat parameters
related to the environments represented in the various
basin types are described above in the section on aspects of
the hydrocarbon system.
It is interesting to note that, as with many basins,
Indonesian basins usually comprise suites of proximal to
distal environments at each stage in their history. The
characteristics of the various basin types noted above,
therefore, can be applied to the description and evaluation
of portions of basins as much as to that of the basins as a
whole. The basin families referred to are elements of a
much larger system of similar basins, developed through-
out the Tertiary of the Far East and SE Asia (Doust and
Sumner, 2007).
8. Summary and conclusions
Indonesian petroliferous basins share a number of
important characteristics: most are Tertiary in age and pass
through early Tertiary synrift to late Tertiary postrift stages
of geological development. They are lled with non-marine
to marine sediments subject to rapid environmentally-
controlled facies variations and receive charge almost
exclusively from terrestrial and/or lacustrine source material.
The petroleum systems present in the various basins can
be classied into four PSTs, which can be related directly to
the main stages of basin development. These PSTs are:
Early Synrift Lacustrine PSTstrongly oil-prone,
thanks to charge from rich lacustrine source rocks,
located in the deeper Eocene to Oligocene parts of the
rift basins.
Late Synrift Transgressive Deltaic PSTcommonly
with oil and gas derived from terrestrial deltaic source
rocks, occupying the shallower Oligocene to early
Miocene parts of the rift basins.
Early Postrift Marine PSTmainly gas prone, with
charge from marine shales, corresponding to an early
Miocene period of transgression that ooded the synrift
grabens and their surrounding platforms.
Late Postrift Regressive Deltaic PSToil and gas prone,
derived from rich deltaic terrestrial source rocks deposited
in deltas that prograded out over the basins in the late
Tertiary in response to collisional and inversion events.
The development and distribution of petroleum systems
in Indonesian basins is dependent on a number of factors,
including the source rock facies and maturity, variability in
the development of reservoir facies, whether the sealing
horizons are intra-formational or regional in extent and on
the style and development of structural traps. Charge
cannot in general be ascribed to individual source horizons
H. Doust, R.A. Noble / Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103129 127
and it is clear that considerable mixing has taken place.
This is reected in the fact that in many cases an older and
deeper-lying PST has apparently charged reservoirs be-
longing to shallower PSTs.
Not surprisingly, the predominant depositional environ-
ment and lithofacies of the basins dictates the predominant
petroleum system type that is present. We have recognized
the following basin families, based on their location with
respect to the continental core of SE Asia, the Sunda
Proximal basins (e.g., Central Sumatra, West Natuna,
Asri) in which the Early Synrift Lacustrine PST is
Intermediate basins (e.g. South Sumatra, East Natuna,
Sunda, onshore Java, Barito), which contain both
synrift PSTs as well as, in some cases, a contribution
from the Early Postrift Marine PST.
Distal basins (e.g. North Sumatra, Java offshore) in
which the dominant PSTs are the Late Synrift Trans-
gressive Deltaic and the Marine and Regressive Deltaic
PSTs of the postrift.
Borneo basins (e.g. KuteiMahakam, Tarakan) in which
only the Late Postrift Regressive Deltaic PST is
Eastern Indonesian basins (e.g. Tomori, Bula, Salawati,
Bintuni) in which the petroleum system is either
Mesozoic or belongs to the Early Postrift Marine PST.
We are grateful to all of the authors whose work over the
years has contributed so abundantly to knowledge of
Indonesian petroleum geologywithout them a synthesis
of the main trends, as we have attempted here, would be
impossible. One of us (H.D.) is also grateful to Shell
International Petroleum Company for the opportunity
(in the 1990s) to study, with an outstanding team, the
fascinating geology of Far East Tertiary basins. Some of
the ideas presented here were conceived during this period.
R.A.N. is grateful for the support of Unocal Indonesia
Company and for their permission to publish this article.
Finally, we are very grateful to anonymous reviewers who
helped us in many ways to increase the quality and
consistency of the text.
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