You are on page 1of 12

OTC 6855

The Mahakam Delta Province: An Ever-Changing Picture

and a Bright Future
B.C. Duval, G. Choppin de Janvry, and Bernard Loiret, TOTAL

Copyright 1992, Offshore Technology Conference

This paper was presented at the 24th Annual OTC in Houston, Texas, May 4-7, 1992.

This paper was selected for presentation by the OTC Program Committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper,
as presented, have not been reviewed by the Offshore Technology Conference and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material, as presented.. does not necessaril,y reflect
any position of the Offshore Technology Conference or its officers. Permission to copy is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words. illustrations may not be copied. The
abstract should contain conspicuous acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper is presented.


The Mahakam delta area is an exceptionally prolific relatively shallow depths. In the 1970's, several giant gas
hydrocarbon province. and oil fields were first discovered offshore, later
onshore and in the delta area, principally because of
An extensive reinterpretation of geological and major improvements in seismic methods through
geophysical data has recently been completed allowing mangrove swamps.
the petroleum systems of the entire area to be clearly
understood. By 1985, proven and probable initial reserves amounted
to about 2.6 billions barrels of oil and between 20 to 30
The handicaps related to the huge volume of data and TCF of gas.
the scarcity of accurate stratigraphic information were
overcome by using specially designed data sheets and by The acreage still operated by Total Indonesie in 1990
applying sequence stratigraphy and a number of specific extended over approximately 10000 km2 with two
and specially designed geological tools which proved contract areas: Mahakam PSC (1) and Tengah JOA (2)
very effective. mainly located offshore (water-depth up to 200 m).
Exploration of this area started in 1967 when Japex was
The Mahakam delta is seen to still have substantial awarded a vast area offshore the Mahakam delta. After a
remaining potential and this kind of study appears first well, Total farmed in and became operator in 1970.
applicable to similar deltaic settings. Five other dry wells were drilled in 1971 before making
several major discoveries: Bekapai (1972), Handil (1974),
Tambora (1974), Tunu (1977). More recently, two
INTRODUCTION significant gas discoveries have been made in Sisi (1986)
in the outermost part of the delta and in NW Peciko
The Mahakam delta is a Tertiary delta, located (fig. I) (1991) in a more internal position.
on the eastern coast of Kalimantan, the Indonesian part
of the Borneo island. The sedimentary cover extends This Total Indonesie's acreage position extends over
from Upper Eocene to Quaternary with a maximum three distinct geological units (fig. 2), located within the
thickness of about 12000 m developed directly beneath outer part of the Kutei basin, with well defined
the present delta (MAGNIER, 1975). Large amounts of characteristics;
oil and gas from a number of fields (fig. 2) have been
found in a Middle to Upper Miocene deltaic sequence The North Mahakam area, centered on the modern delta,
(GERARD, 1973). is limited outwards by a belt of listric faults (fig. 3) at
the front of the Mahakam deltaic system. It contains the
Exploration started as early as 1888 with field geological
investigations in the vicinity of oil and gas seepages. It
resulted in the oil discoveries of Sanga Sanga (1897) and
Samboja (1909) in uplifted Middle Miocene sands, at

References and illustrations at end of paper

bulk of hydrocarbon reserves. redefined in terms of sequence stratigraphy. Due to
strong uplift and erosion of the onshore, the
The South Mahakam area corresponds to a narrow NW- identification of geometric relationships between seismic
SE strip related to the downwarping of the Pre-Tertiary reflectors (onlaps, downlaps, toplaps, truncations...) was
basement, below the Mahakam deltaic systems. It is initially carried out in the external part of the basin
intersected by several major NW-SE faults with a high where lowstand system tracts develop.
dip-slip component. Sedimentation is mainly marine with
minor deltaic tongues related to the ancestral Balikpapan Experience showed that geometric features of theoretical
and Adang rivers. Only a few minor oil accumulations large extension were commonly well defined on a few
have been found in this subsidiary Sepinggan delta area. lines only, especially in the areas of fair to poor seismic
data quality. The preliminary phase of study involved
The carbonate Paternoster platform is related to a analysis of a large number of closely spaced lines in
basement high which acts as a southern boundary to the order to improve the confidence of interpretation
Kutei basin. All the wells that have been drilled in this through the repetition of observations. Well-established
area are dry. local relationships were then tied throughout the entire
external part of the basin, in order to correlate all
By early 1987, oil production from the Mahakam PSC observations on a regional scale and hence differentiate
had been declining from the average of 230000 bId reliable regional events from local events or even
reached through 1977 and furthermore most structural artefacts.
plays (visible at one specific horizon on fig. 3) appeared
to have been drilled. There was an urgent need to The definition of these horizons was then extended
replace reserves and a major basin analysis study was landwards and towards the edges of the basin where
initiated to unravel the geological model and identify the numerous wells were available to provide calibrations.
functioning of petroleum systems over an area covering Other complementary observations, such as incised
40000 km2. Special attention was given to new valleys, backstepping carbonates, etc... were also included
conceptual models based on sequence stratigraphy (VAIL in the regional stratigraphic interpretation to reinforce,
1977, 1987) to look for stratigraphic traps. The main or sometimes modify, the initial analysis carried out in
objectives of this comprehensive study were to evaluate the external part of the delta.
the remaining exploration potential of the two permits
after 20 years of rather intensive structural exploration, Once maximum coherency of seismic derived
followed by field delineation and development. observations had been attained, ties with calibrated wells
enabled geological data to be introduced.
This type of study in a mature area involves handling
huge amounts of disparate data in a complex deltaic Independent sequential log analysis was performed on
environment characterized by alternations of sands and key wells on composite logs at 1/5000 scale where all
shales, with only subtle lithology variations. The number lithological, environmental and biostratigraphical data are
of potential hydrocarbon reservoirs is high: up to 550 reported. Maximum flooding surfaces (MF) were easily
different reservoirs for a single field. At the onset, the identified from log patterns and environmental data.
main handicap to the definition of a detailed geological Identification of system tracts was performed from the
model in the Mahakam delta was the scarcity of reliable study of stacking patterns and possible sequence
stratigraphic correlations in the deltaic facies which boundaries (U) from the relationships between adjacent
represent large parts of the section. stacking patterns. These observations were transferred
onto regional cross-sections together with current
In order to overcome the apparent complexity of the electrical markers and stratigraphic age-dating
deltaic complex and to help the transfer of well data on information.
to seismic lines, synthetic documents were created by
special data treatment methods resulting in sliding Merging the various elements defined by the geological
averages for simplified descriptions of alternating sand- and geophysical interpretations was performed at the
shale lithologies. The use of sequence analysis from level of select control wells. Consistency was established
seismic and well data permitted the definition of a by correlating sequence boundaries and maximum
precise chronostratigraphic framework at basin scale. It flooding surfaces between the control-wells. Selection of
provided a new geological model with improved the best acceptable candidate for each sequence element
significance for paleogeographic, structural and was made while keeping in mind the potential margins
hydrocarbon evaluation. About 250 control-wells and of error attached to each method.
35,000 km of seismic were incorporated in this, recently
completed, extensive reinterpretation. Chronostratigraphic information related to each sequence
of regional significance was then compared to the
Mesozoic-Cenozoic cycle chart by HAQ et al. (1987).
GEOLOGICAL MODEL Certain sequence elements (MF and U), well-identified
on HAQ's global chart were recognized in the Mahakam
delta via nannofossil biochronozones (Upper Miocene
Sequence stratigraphy analysis (fig. 4) and Pliocene) and planktonic foraminifera
biochronozones (Lower and Middle Miocene). Certain
The main deltaic and marine environments were other sequence elements were indirectly age-dated by


~iIiii_IIII. _
their relative positions. The uncharted sequences, Facies distribution
recognized in the study, are attributed to a higher order
of relative sea level variations than the depositional Well data being available only on structural highs, facies
sequences. Age calibration was undertaken mainly in the recognition from seismic data was essential to
South Mahakam area where marine incursions allow developping environmental maps over the entire delta.
adequate faunal developments to be found. By studying seismic responses related to lithofacies
identified in the wells, seismic reflectivity character was
tied to the environment of deposition, within the
Chronostratigraphic chart framework of the overall geological model.

13 sequences were defined within the interval 5-13.5 Ma To obtain this calibration of seismic character, a
over the North Mahakam delta area (fig. 4). Most of synthetic representation (fig. 5) of basic lithologies, using
these sequences have all their usual elements of a vertical resolution comparable to that obtained from
definition: sequence boundary (unconformity and seismic was carried out.
correlative conformity), coastal and marine onlaps,
downlap surfaces, maximum flooding surface, associated Due to the high degree of cyclicity of deltaic facies and
basin floor fan and low stand prograding wedge. Over because of continued repetition of similar lithologies, it
the same interval, 5 depositional sequences only were was difficult to detect any precise evolution just from
described in the Cenozoic cycle chart. After age logs while individual lithologies are generally too thin to
calibration, all the main elements (sequence boundary: be identified from seismic records.
UlO, U9, U7, US, U3; maximum flooding: MFIO, MF85,
MF6, MF4, MF2) of the 3rd order depositional To sidestep this difficulty, sliding averages of basic
sequences were accurately identified. lithological components were computed from log data on
an adjustable interval thickness (usually 100 m). These
Maximum flooding surfaces and certain major sequence values were then plotted versus depth with a constant
boundaries provide the most effective internal seals in increment (usually equal to a quarter of the computation
the system. For instance, MF2 (5.0 Ma) appears to be the interval). The parameters selected for the sliding average
regional seal at basin scale and correlates with the top of were percentage of basic reservoir lithologies (i.e. sand)
the Bekapai main pay zone. MF6 (7.0 Ma) is the top of and counts of special lithologies (i.e. coal and limestone
the Tunu main pay zone. Furthermore, U9 (10.5 Ma) or dolomite stringers).
constitues the top of the Handil main pay zone.
The time versions, controlled by well seismic
Thin outer shelf carbonates frequently develop on the calibrations, allowed five distinct depositional
edge of the deltaic systems but thicker developments, environments to be defined within the shelf area: fluvial
mainly reefal build-ups, are observed at several levels in plain, deltaic plain, delta-frontjprodelta-middle shelf,
the transgressive system tracts. outer shelf, etc. They were identified along regional
cross-sections (fig. 5) within the chronostratigraphical
Two major transgressive-regressive facies cycles are framework obtained from the sequence stratigraphy
developed within the main deltaic interval: analysis.

- U15 (16.5 Ma) - U9 (10.5 Ma) with major flooding at

MFl2 (13.4 Ma) level Paleoenvironmental maps

U9 (10.5 Ma) - U3 (5.5 Ma) with major flooding at Within each sequence, the main goals were to recognize
MF6 (7.0 Ma) level. the geographic extension of the delta plain environments
which provide the dominant source-rocks (coals) and to
Several elements of the characteristic stratigraphic identify low stand prograding wedges, incised valleys
signature of the Neogene (VAIL et al. , 1989) were and basin floor fans which were believed to represent
recognized in the Mahakam delta, particularly: potential reservoirs, not yet fully evaluated by past
exploration efforts. It was therefore necessary, in order
- End of Middle Miocene major downward shift of to meet these goals, to prepare detailed
onlaps and major lowstand deposits (10.5 Ma) paleoenvironmental maps for each sequence.

- Lowermost Pliocene flooding (5.0 Ma) Figure 6 shows one example of the distribution of these
paleoenvironments and their relationships, and also
The main discrepancies with VAIL's chart concern the indicates the cumulative sand counts derived from well
progradation versus aggradation ratio in the Miocene. data.
The Middle Miocene (16.2-10.2 Ma) is predominantly
aggrading whereas Upper Miocene (10.2-5.2 Ma) is The various low stand prograding wedges defined in this
characterized by major progradation. study are characterized by:

- considerable encroachment on to the previously

established shelf due to high differential subsidence,

relatively deep-water environments (often below wave SE Iineaments more or less paralIel to the main South
action) even at maximum progradation, Mahakam faults were identified, since they cause minor
relays along the structural highs. These deep seated
- low granulometry of the sands due to reworking of structural elements are probably related to the initial
the previous middle to outer shelf sediments, opening of the K utei basin.

- local depocenters with locked in clastic input during The present structural highs clearly result from a NI 10
low stand periods. regional compression and the observed senestrial strike
slip movements along the deep Iineaments is in
In spite of systematic efforts to locate and follow incised agreement with a reactivation by this tectonic stress.
valleys over the study area, they were found to be scarce
and limited in extent. They are most often located close The persistence of a compressive regime during the Mio-
to a previous shelf edge, and disappear rapidly inwards, Pliocene fits well in the context of the Sulawesi collision
grading down to canyons on the outward. between the Eurasian plate and the Pacific plate, when
subduction took place from Early Miocene time and
The existing basin floor fans are often well characterized collision of the Australian continental crust began in
from seismic and appear to have a clear relationship to Upper Miocene time. The relative tectonic coherence
the mouths of the incised valleys. between the Tertiary sedimentary cover and pre-Tertiary
basement would not be consistent with large scale gravity
Due to high subsidence of the North Mahakam area, it tectonics.
was also observed that even during stages of late
highstand, the delta plain never quite reaches the shelf
edge coals remain several kilometers behind this point. SOURCE MODEL
This is also true for sands which often disappear more
than 10 kilometers before the shelf edge is reached as Sequence stratigraphy and facies recognition helped to
result of a relative deficit in sands over most of the area. define an improved source model by better
understanding source rock distribution over the entire
A correlation between hydrocarbon occurence and type area and correctly modelling migration paths using cross-
of systems tracts is not obvious but, nevertheless, when sections which fully integrate all geological and
hydrocarbons underfill a trap, they generally occur geochemical data.
below the best seal of the interval e.g. within the top of
the transgressive tracts.
~ea riy interpretations
Structural imtdications Any petroleum system model applied to the Mahakam
area has to explain two major features
The unraveling of the structural history of the outer
Kutei basin was made possible after the establishment of - the concentration of oil IocaI1y in only a few places
a homogeneous correlation framework based on precise along a continuous structural high where gas is
age determinations and sequence stratigraphy. present more generally

In the North Mahakam delta area, the persistence of a - the presence of large volumes of oil entrapped
compressive regime throughout most of the Miocene is significantly above the depths where mature source-
demonstrated by evidence of relatively continuous rocks are identified.
structural growth of the main anticlinal highs. This
persistent compressive regime explains the relatively rare Previous models (DURAND and OUDIN, 1979; OUDIN
development of tensional normal faults compared to and PICARD, 1982) were based on the geochemical
other known deltaic environments (Niger, U.S. Gulf interpretation of numerous analytical results.
The organic matter is generally made up of continental
Depth isochore maps for each time slice (fig. 7) show higher plants origin (type III) regardless of its deltaic
however that the early anticlinal highs shifted position
environment of deposition, lithology or stratigraphic
through time while their shapes are indicative of position. However the organic carbon content is strongly
sediment loading and clay mobilisation in front of the related to Iithologic and deltaic environments (TOC O%
main deltaic fronts. These early structural features are in sands, 2.2-2.5% in shales, 7-8% in organic shales, 50-
believed to partly control sand distribution in the 80% in coals). The hydrocarbon generative potential is
overlying horizons and may indirectly favor also variable and Hydrogen Indexes reach up to 350-
stratigraphical trapping. A general coincidence between 400 mg/g only in coals. These are rather high values
structural features and facies boundaries is observed. compared to normal type 111 source rock (< 150 mg/g)
characterized by a hydrogen-poor kerogen. So the
Some evidence of strike slip movements aIong fracture potential of the coals is high for both gas and oil. From
zones are also derived from these maps. The Tertiary oil and extract correlations, coals and organic shales were
sedimentary cover appears not to be independent from identified as the source-rocks for the entrapped oils. At
the pre-Tertiary basement and several deep-seated NW- first, the top of the zone of oil generation, or oil-


_ ___ . .. .


window, was thought to occur at vitrinite reflectance both over the inner Handil-Badak structural axis and
values of above 0.7%. The top of the zone of oil within the fresh water sands of the Bekapai-Attaka axis.
generation was found, in Handil, to be 500 to 1000 m
deeper than the equivalent oil bearing reservoirs. Average speeds of circulation up to 10-20 m/y were
computed from radiocarbon ages and present-day
The entrapped gases were interpreted, from isotopic hydrodynamism is confirmed by the evidence of tilted
studies, to be thermogenic and generated within the oil contacts in a few reservoirs of the innermost structural
and gas condensate zone occurring in the overpressured highs.
pro-delta shales.
Hydrodynamism appears to be directly controlled by the
Considering the available well maturity data, the iso- sand content of the section. The in~ut of meteoric waters
reflectance lines were found to follow approximately the is reIated to strong uplift of the hinterland where up to
chronostratigraphic markers and this parallelism with 2500 m of erosion during the Pliocene has exposed most
structure was interpreted to continue downflank in the the Upper and Middle Miocene section close to the
synclines. The overpressured zones were observed not to offshore area.
parallel a given level of organic maturation and thus not
to be related to hydrocarbon generation processes. While hydrodynamism has only a limited direct action on
the geometry of present hydrocarbon accumulations, the
In these earlier models, hydrocarbon migration was circulation of relatively cold meteoric water explains the
proposed to be essentially verticak large amounts of light complex distribution of subsurface temperatures (fig. 8)
hydrocarbons, main] y gas, migrate out from and the maturity anomalies observed over the area. The
overpressured zones and extract heavier hydrocarbon highest temperatures were encountered on the Sanga
compounds while percolating upwards through the oil Sanga anticline where the shallow occurrence of the
window zone. Then heavier hydrocarbons (mainly oil) overpressured zone limits the depth of cold convection.
are progressively released by retrograde condensation The coldest temperatures are located along the inner axis
when pressure and temperatures drop with decreasing between Nilam and Tambora where hydrodynamism is
depth. So the nature of the pooled hydrocarbons (oil strongest along the paleo-axis of the Mahakam delta.
versus gas) was interpreted as being related to the actual Deep meteoric water circulation prevails in this area due
position of the top of the oil window with respect to the to the relationship between structura[ (sands dipping
top of the overpressured zone. The efficiency of seals towards the south-east and directly connected to
between the hydrocarbon generation zone and the outcrops) and sedimentological parameters (high sand
reservoirs, available for pooling, was presented as also content and excellent interconnection). The hot spot
playing a role. observed on Handil is explained by a relatively lower
water flow over the crestal part than around the
As contrast to the previous work, this study has given structure, The median Attaka-Bekapai axis is slightly
more weight to hydrodynamism and has brought forward warmer than the outer part of the area. This overall
some new views on the functioning of the overall evolution is inconsistent with rock conductivity (increase
petroleum system. of shale content eastwards) but may be due to convective
effects related to circulation of water which is warmed
up during its passage through the Tunu-Tambora
~ syncline before rising updip towards the structural high
to the east.
The presence of fresh water over large intervals of the
stratigraphic section had long been noticed and was Furthermore, various geothermometers (fluid inclusions,
previously explained mainly by facies relationships. It is apatite fission tracks) indicate paleo-temperatures higher
particularly common in the uppermost section (Fresh than the present ones (up to 15-2(YC) over all the inner
Water Sands) of the Upper Miocene between U5 structural high, while geochemical modelling also pointed
(6.3 Ma) and U3 (5.5 Ma) where fresh water fingers to several maturity anomaIiex
were observed up to the outermost part of the deltaic
system in the Sisi area. Chemical analyses showed that - the use of the present temperature gradient on
most of the waters sampled, termed Sodium Bicarbonate Tambora yields too low a calculated maturity level
Type, have a rain water origin and cannot be confused (about 1000 m corresponding to 2WC) to match the
with connate waters characterized by the absence of observed maturity level.
sulphate and bicarbonate. Salinities of the original
formation waters appear variable and range from - the calibration of maturity observed on Tunu yields
brackish to saline depending on the original depositional too high a heat flow, with paleo temperatures about
environment. 10- 15C higher than those measured to-day.

Mixing by meteoric water appears to occur down to the All these facts are indicative of the existence of
base of the normal pressure zone but is observed to subsurface hydrodynamic flows. 2D modeI1ing also
progressively decrease with increasing depth. showed the need to reconstruct onshore altitudes higher
(600 m) than the present ones to enable hydrodynamism
Waters characteristic of active water exchange and to reconcile past and present thermal fields.
intensive flushing (CHEBOTAREV, 1955) were found


___ . .. _


area within the Tambora-Tunu syncline (thickness up to
Effective Hydrocarbon Kitchen 1500 m) and the Tunu-Sisi syncline (thickness up to
700 m). Geochemical modelling computed hydrocarbon
The existence of a deep source-rock below the deltaic generation as starting from about 3 My ago in the
facies is ruled out detailed analysis of th~ lowermost deepest part, and being still in progress over most of the
part of the deepest stratigraphical wells shows a strong main part of the delta.
decrease of the organic content (TOCS 1.5%) as ioon as
marine environments (outer shelf to slope shales) are In the South Mahakam, the identified kitchen is
reached. The organic matter is still of higher plant origin restricted to north-east of the Sepinggan field with a
but it is also mixed with inert amorphous material with maximum thickness of 500 m and hydrocarbons
very low petroleum potential. This type of organic formation from 9 Ma.
matter is interpreted as resulting from a high Ievel of
degradation by oxydation during transport and The amount of hydrocarbons generated is directly related
deposition. Therefore no real improvment of source-rock to the development and extent of the delta pIain facies,
potential is expected in deeper and deeper water with coals, within the kitchens. From the studies
environments (basinal shales). Geochemical modelling, discussed in the geological model, the maximum
calibrated on porosity and pressure evolution, also eastwards extension of the coals is well known and
confirmed the absence of significant hydrocarbon mature coals are not expected in the Tunu-Sisi kitchen.
expulsion and migration from these marine shales.

Throughout the area underneath the delta, these marine ~

shales are actually strongly overpressured. Abnormal
pressures mount thestratigraphic section from north west The comparison between the regional hydrocarbon
to south east and are not depth dependant. In fact, it is distribution and the kitchen map is very instructive
clear that genesis of overpressures appears to be related
to the absence of interconnected reservoirs that can serve The patterns of occurrence of hydrocarbons, including
as drains. In the Mahakam deIta, overpressures are gas, are closely linked to the identified kitchens. Most
clearIy due to undercompaction and are not driven by dry weIls are Iocated 10 to 20 km from the kitchens
hydrocarbon generation or diagenetic processes, as may regardless of the structural configuration and the
occur in some other geological contexts. reservoir development of the plays in question.

The base of the effective hydrocarbon kitchen may be The respective distribution of the oil reserves between
considered to be close to the top of the overpressures North (95%) and South (5%) Mahakam is welI in
(equivalent mud weight = 1.60 s.g.), since expulsion and agreement with the respective volumetric developments
migration of hydrocarbons, particularly oil, is hindered of the kitchens.
in the overpressured zone. A structural map at the top of
the overpressured zone was derived from well data by A clear relationship exists between the amount of oil
using the observed relationships with facies. versus gas along the Handil-Badak structural axis and
the content of coals available in the mature section
A map of the top of the oil window was derived from downdip.
projecting analytical results (mainly vitrinite reflectance)
from welI data taking into account the existence of So an updated model for the Mahakam petroleum system
paleostructural growth. The Ro value of 0.6% was finally is proposed
selected for the top of the effective kitchen through
calibration with the oil-extracts correlations performed Firstly, it is characterized by insignificant hydrocarbon
on coals and was confirmed by numerical maturation contribution from the undercompacted marine shaIes
modelling. This figure agrees with an easier and earlier which underly the deltaic series. This is in agreement
expulsion of oil from these types of coals than from with the results of the past exploration.
ordinary shale source rocks (DURAND, 1982) in the
Mahakam delta. Most importantly, the migration paths are mainly lateral;
because of a compressional rather than tensional style,
An isopach map of the effective hydrocarbon kitchen and limited by internaI regional seals (usually maximum
(fig. 9) was derived from the two structural maps flooding surfaces). This migration pattern fits with the
defined above. The intersect of the effective kitchen is overall distribution of hydrocarbons within the
also shown on the schematic cross-section (fig. 10). stratigraphic section. It explains the sequence of charged
The effective kitchen is restricted to the inner part of reservoirs below the most effective seals, wheres the
the offshore area. Its eastern limit corresponds to the top youngest reservoirs contain the largest gas cap and the
of the overpressured zone occurring above the oldest are often wet. There is also a good relationship
hydrocarbon formation zone. Considerable kitchen between the top of the main pay zone in the fields and
thickness is mapped in some privileged areas where the stratigraphic position of the beginning of
average Source Potential Index (DEMAISON, 1991) hydrocarbon generation in the deepest part of the related
reachs very high levels (20-30 t HC/m2). kitchen.

The main kitchens are located in the North Mahakam Differences in hydrocarbon fluid composition between


_ .
___ . ..
the fields are mainly explained by the effective structural high. The potential of the remaining structural
volumetric and qualitative potential of the source-rock noses was evaluated with reference to the estimated head
(coals or organic shales) and the expulsion-migration of passes of the delta at the corresponding time.
efficiency (presence of drains). So westwards migration
from coaly delta plain facies will result in the Incised valleys would seen to be relatively risky targets
accumulation of large amounts of oil together with gas. due to their preferential occurrence between the present
Eastwards migration from coal-poor distal deltaic structural highs. There is also a strong risk of leakage
environments will be more difficult due to conflicting through sands beyond and below the erosional contact of
facies evolution and will probably result ordy in gas and the valley.
Basin floor fans have entrapment potential due to sealing
Vertical migration appears to be a subsidiary process. It by surrounding shales. But this kind of trap is
is locally strong in the faulted structures where it may handicapped by an adverse geochemical context (within
explain the shallow pay zones of Handil and the main overpressured organic-poor sha[es) and by the depth of
pay zone of Bekapai. Upwards migration is also probably burial.
very effective in the innermost areas due to better
vertical interconnection between sands and lower The low stand prograding wedges have good potential
efficiency of seals due to local erosion. Modelling has for entrapment due to their particular depositional
also shown possible gravitional migration from pooled framework. However, the actual pinch-out of the wedge
hydrocarbon when gas columns become too high (Tunu). on the underlying unconformity is very difficult to map
with accuracy. When occurring in an up-dip
Oil segregation is also possible by retrograde configuration, risk of leakage through the transgressive
condensation from a single phase fluid (gas + dissolved tract appears high and difficult to evaluate. Low stand
heavy components) when temperature and pressure drop. prograding wedges are considered most prospective when
Retrograde condensation may occur both during lateral incorporated within a structure or at least inverted. The
migration since the formations rise steeply towards the potential of these features was proven by a hydrocarbon
west. Rapid vertical migration aIong a fault path would discovery at S1S1 but delineation wells were
have the same effect. So Bekapai is tentatively explained disappointing due to the limited extent of the sand
by dismigration through active faults of a previous depocenter and to rather poor reservoir characteristics.
gas/condensate pool in deeper horizons.
The proposed petroleum system model enhances the
In both cases of migration (Iatera[ and vertical), the interest of the western flank of the existing structural
distance from the hydrocarbon generation zone increases highs, whenever stratigraphic traps are possibIy
with decreasing depth of pooling. This distance of identified. The recent major discovery of gas at NW
migration explain the observed trends of lighter Peciko, located a few kilometers downdip from Peciko- 1
hydrocarbons (higher oiI gravity and/or condensate gas where only a minor net pay of gas was identified,
ratio) being found upwards as heavy products are less confirms the high remaining potentiaI of the area.
mobile. Significant amounts of gas were found in thin sands
belonging to various system tracts (mairdy low stand and
The remaining uncertainty to resolve is the true transgressive system tracts) in relation with a general
influence of hydrodynamism on the migration and the eastwards shaling-out. Similar thin sands had already
distribution of hydrocarbons. been found in the giant gas and condensate Tunu field.
High productivity and substained rates were observed
This revised petroleum system model for the Mahakam during the first two years of production at Tunu and
Delta differs from the previous one (DURAND and strongly support the economic potential of these partly
OUDIN, 1979) by the lesser importance given to vertical stratigraphic plays.
migration and the diminished contribution to charging of
the overpressured zones. It is in good agreement, at least
for the innermost fields with the notion of CONCLUSIONS
interstratified petroleum source-rocks expressed by
R.E. CHAPMAN ( 1986). In spite of intensive expiration in the past 20 years, the
area is seen as having substantial remaining gas potential,
particularly in traps with significant stratigraphical

In this hydrocarbon-prolific area, all significant four- The definition of these new plays was possible owing to
way dip closures have already been drilled and the only a renewed geological and geochemical model which led
remaining prospects are minor closures on faults or to a better comprehension of the overall petroleum
potential traps with astrong stratigraphic component. system.

The channel (alluvial or tidal) fills of the deltaic plain Sequence stratigraphy enabIed a precise
regardless of the systems tract involved, constitue the chronostratigraphic framework at basin scale to be
main reservoirs in the inner deltaic areas. Entrapment constructed for the first time and was the key to a better
results from the intersection of a channel with a regional understanding of the sand and source-rock


_ ___ . .. .
distribution. The main deltaic and marine environments 3. VAIL, P. R., MITCHUM, R. M., Jr and
were redefined in terms of sequence stratigraphy and THOMPSON, S., IIk
mapped for each time slice. Emphasis was put on low Seismic stratigraphy and global changes of sea level
stand prograding wedges, incised valleys, transgressive in ~tratimrm hic intertwet ation of se ismic da~
sands and basin floor fans which could constitute American Association of Petroleum Geology (1977):
potential reservoirs not yet fully evaluated by past memoir 26, pp 83-97
exploration efforts.
4. VAIL, P. R., COLIN, J., DU CHENE, R. J.,
A renewed hydrocarbon charging model is proposed. The KUCHLY, J., MEDIAVILLA, F. and TRIFILIEFF,
relationship between the quality and quantity of source- V.:
rocks and the environments, an appropriate La stratigraphie stquentielle et son application aux
reconstruction of the hydrocarbon kitchens, along with corr~lations chronostratigraphiques clans Ie
analyses of migration mechanisms and associated Jurassique du Bassin de Paris, French Geological
processes such as retrograde condensation all converge to Society Bulletin (1987), vol. III, n 7, pp 1301-1321
explain the existing distribution of hydrocarbons.
Regional segregation of dominantly oil prone and gas 5. HAQ, B.U., HARDENBOL, J. and VAIL, P. R.:
prone traps in what is an overwhelmingly gas province is Mesozoic and Cenozoic chronostratigraphy and
also better understood. The new model differs from the eustatic cycles in &a-level chanzes. a n integrated
previous one in the predominance of lateral migration ~roac h, Society of Economic Paleontologists
phenomena and the negligible contribution from the Mineralogists (1988), special publication, n 42, pp
overpressured zone. 71-108

The bulk of the increased gas production comes from 6. VAIL, P. R., AUDEMARD, F., BARTEK, L. R.,
Tunu where several sequences of thin but numerous BOWMAN, S.A., COTERILL, K., EMMET, P. A.,
sands have been shown to have a surprisingly high and LIU, C., PEREZ-CRUZ, G., ROSS, M.J. and WU,
substained productivity. In the future, further production s.:
increase from Tunu together with the development of The global stratigraphic signature of the Neogene
the significant discovery of NW Peciko will allow new in Sea -level changes at act ive ~late marzins-
production peaks to be reached onwards from 1994. processes and rmoduc~ (1989), Mac Donald, London,
Future gas production in oil equivalent terms, will p. 12
surpass the previous peak rate of 230000 b/d in 1977
from Handil and Bekapai (fig. 11). 7. DURAND, B. and OUDIN, J.L:
Exemple de migration des hydrocarbures clans une
serie deltalque : le Delta de la Mahakam,
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Kalimantan, Indonesia, 10th World Petroleum
Congress, panel discussion 1 (1979), pp 1-9

8. OUDIN, J.L. and PICARD, P. F.:

The authors thank PERTAMINA, INPEX and TOTAL Genesis of hydrocarbons in the Mahakam delta and
for permitting this publication. They gratefully the relationship between their distribution and the
acknowledge the help received from Y: GROSJEAN and overpressured zones, Proceedings Indonesian
J.L. PIAZZA of TOTAL in participating in the study Petroleum Association, 11th Annual Convention
and gathering data and illustrations. Comments and (June 1982), pp 181-202
advice were kindly provided by A. JOHNSON of
Metamorphism of natural water in the crust of
weathering, Geoch. Cosmo. Acts, v. 68 (1955), PP

10. DURAND, B. and PARATTE, N.:

1. MAGNIER, P., OKI, T. and KARTAADIPURA, Oil potential of coals a geochemical approach,
L. W.: Symp. Petroleum Geochem. Exploration Europe,
The Mahakam delta, Kalimantan-Indonesia 9th Glasgow (1982), pp 255-265
World Petroleum Congress (1975)
2. GERARD, J. and OESTERLE, H.: Genetic classification of petroleum systems,
Facies study of the offshore Mahakam area, American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Proceedings Indonesian Petroleum Association, 2nd Bulletin, v. 75, N 10 (October 1991), pp. 1626-
Annual Convention (June 1973), PP 187-194 1643

12. CHAPMAN, R. E.:

Geological reasoning for the petroleum source-rocks
of known fields, the A PEA journal (1986), pp 132-

(1) Production Sharing Contract

(2) Joint Operating Agreement

1ioE I i4* O. 1i8E


FIG. 1 Index map of the Mahakam delta area with

the location of study and limit of extension of the
Kutei basin (derived from Hamilton, 1979).

/ 1 i. 1

FIG. 2 Main oil and gas producing fields in the

Mahakam delta area and recent gas discoveries on the
Mahakam PSC with the location of cross-section A-A.
Dashed lines represent the geographic extent of the
various geological units. Dotted line corresponds to the
200 m water depth.






I 14~ No Ho171ZoNTAL
SCALE Maximum flooding llF6 j I

I [ Lowstancfrleposits - ~ Carbonates - ~ 1I
Turbidites ------ ~ Coals ----- ---
Limit of extension Reef ----- ~
of shelf facies Delta plain -- ~

FIG. 3 Isochron map at U3 UPper horizon (close to FIG. 4 Schematic chronostratigraphic chart of the
the top of the BEKAPAI and ATTAKA main pay North Mahakam area (delta area). The sequence
zones). Hydrocarbon pools of HANDIL, TAMBORA, stratigraphy was age calibrated on the Haq and Vail
NILAM, BADAK and TUNU are Iocated at much (1987) chart in the South Mahakam area where marine
deeper levek. deposits are best developed.

A w -1 A
N. W. S*
*#mAGf +2 *
Wrv m
1000 10QO

3000 3000

sow 5004



100 0 15 FIG. 5 Structural cross-section A-A of North
A B AL LUYIAL PLAIN _ __ ____ _ Mahakam area showing the geog~aphi~ and

A DELTAIC PLAIN _ . ______ _ ~ stratigraphic extent of the Mahakam deltaic system.

w FE.wlrm % The mentioned sequence boundaries correspond to the
limits of the third order depositional sequences
B % L~~~~To~~LOWSTAND PROGRADING identified on the Haq and Vail (1987) chart. Higher
wn wccm?wxs } WEDGE --- =
order sequences were also recognized from seismic
geometrical relationships and sequential log analysis.
D ----- U9 = 10.5 Ma,
INTERVAL 102 m STEP 25 m SASINFLOOR FAN DEPOSITS ___ _ ~ Ui = 8.2 Ma, U5 = 6.3 M~~e~3 =a~5 Ma?
See figures 2 and 3 for the location of section.


t Shelf edge
at U 9 level
(10.5 Ma)----- ......

10 km Paleohighs---- +++

structural axis
at U 3 level
(Top Bekapai-
030 main pay zone) .

Outer limit of delta plain._ -- Low stand

Shelf edge -------------- . .. .. progra@g wedge belt --- m
at lower limit of sequence- 1 Basin floor fan ______ m
at upper limit of sequence. 2

I Isonet sand ( Ihlcknessm meters1 w

Incised valley
and canyon head _____ m

FIG. 6 Paleoenvironmental map of one individual

depositional sequence (U7-U5: 8.2-6.3 Ma time
interval) showing the relationship between cumulative FIG. 7 Depth isochore map of an individual
sand derived from well data and various environments depositional sequence (U9-U7: 10.5-8.2 Ma time
(delta plain, incised valleys, Iowstand programing interval) showing the existence of slightly concave
wedge and basin floor fan) as defined on seismic. It is paleo-structural axes, the Iocal action of senestral
worth noting the good agreement between the net sand strike slip movement and the good correspondence
distribution with the area of maximum progradation of between the present median structural axis with the
the shelf and the location of incised valleys and main shelf edge position at the major sea level fall of the
basin floor fans. period (10.5 Ma).


_ .
___ . ..
10 km

</ 11720 11740

FIG. 9 Isopach map of the effective kitchen over

FIG. 8 Isobath map of 120C isotherm showing the the whole Mahakam area. The effective kitchen
temperature distribution over the North Mahakam interval is comprised between the top of overpressured
area. The dotted zones indicate the coIdest areas zone (emv = 1.60 s.g.) and the top of the oil window
related to strong fresh water hydrodynamism from the (Ro = 0.6%). The dashed Iine corresponds to the outer
outcrops to the North-West (modified from M. BOIS, limit of mature coals. Three main kitchen areas are
1989). identified (dotted areas).

Alluvial plain

EE3 Deltaic plain

Delta front /
Middle shelf

Outer shelf
with carbonate

Low stand
pro rading
we 1ga


Basin floor
fan deDosits


FIG. 10 Schematic cross-section A-A showing the geographic and stratigraphic extent of the Middle to Upper Miocene
Mahakam delta (!) petroleum system, see figure 2 and 3 for the location of section.


_ ___ . .. .
3CQ 00

2oa 00

100 00

0 0
74 76 78 1980 82 84 86 88 1990 92 94 96 98 2KI0

FIG. 11 Combined oil production and gas delivery from the Mahakam PSC (actual production up to 1991, planned
production between 1992 and 2000) in b/d equivalent oil (106 scf = 180 bbl). This diagram shows that gas production
progressively replaces oil and that a new production peak will be reached in 1994.