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XIII.

SALAWATI BASIN
XIII.1 Introduction
The Salawati Basin is a late Tertiary local depression, located in the
westernmost part of the Kepala Burung (Bird's Head), Irian Jaya (Figure 1). The
basin is presently bounded to the north by the Sorong Fault Zone which
separates the Australian Continental Plate to the south from the Pacific Oceanic
Plate to the north. It is separated from the Bintuni Basin by the Mio-Pliocene
Ayamaru High, where Miocene shelf carbonates crop out. Southward, the basin
is limited by the Misool-Onin Geanticline. The continuation of the Sorong Fault
Zone bounds the basin to the west.
XIII.2 Regional Geology
XIII.2.1 Tectonic Setting
The Salawati Basin is located in the tectonically complex Eastern Indonesia
region, where three major crustal plates impinge. The basin is a structural and
stratigraphic feature that began to develop on the northern margin of the
Australian Plate during Miocene time. Structural development of the basin is the
result of the complex interplay of these three major crustal plates. Left lateral
strike-slip movement along the Sorong fault is primarily responsible for the
present day structural configuration of the basin. These structural elements are
well defined at the surface, and seismically in the sub-surface (Figure 2).
East-west folds and complex faulting dominate the local tectonic pattern. Most
of the faults are northeast-southwest trending normal faults, which predominate
over the basinal areas. These faults are generally down-stepping to the
northwest across the basin into the depocenter on northern Salawati Island, as
a result of the transtensional pull-apart regime induced by movement along the
Sorong fault initiated during Late Miocene time. The most prominent of these
faults is the "Line 6" Fault (or series of faults) which run through the Sele Straits
and across the Salawati island. Although this fault has significant strike-slip
movement, the major effects are down to the basin which allowed rapid
deposition of the Pliocene Klasaman Formation, which is best illustrated by the
rapid westward increase in the thickness of the Pliocene Klasaman Formation
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toward the depocenter. Movement appears to be diverted to a more neutral leftlateral displacement as the fault's orientation shifts to a more east-west direction
and crosses the southern part of Salawati Island, which suggests movement
began in post-Miocene, Early Pliocene times. With the exception of some areas
near the Sorong Fault, such as just north of Trend's Arar Block, faults with
evidence of strike-slip movement are presumably conjugate shears related to
the left-lateral Sorong Fault.
The final movement of the Sorong Fault during Plio-Pleistocene time created a
series of northeast-southwest trending folds. These are located south of the
Sorong fault in the northern part of Salawati Island.
XIII.2.2 Stratigraphy
In general, the Salawati Basin can be grouped into fourth sedimentary regimes,
these are: 1) Pre-Carboniferous Basement, 2) Permo-Carboniferous Sediments,
3) Jurassic-Cretaceous Sediments, and 4) Tertiary Stratigraphy (Figure 3).
Pre-Carboniferous Basement
Kemum Formation
The Kemum Formation (Visser & Hennes, 1962) forms a basement block in the
central part of the Birds Head where it is bounded by the Sorong Fault Zone to
the north and the Ransiki Fault Zone to the east. To the south and southwest,
rocks of Late Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cainozoic age, overlie the basement
block with angular unconformity.
The lower contact of the Kemum Formation is not exposed and the unit has a
minimum thickness of a few thousand metres. The age of the unit is based on
sparsely distributed Silurian graptolites and Devonian ostracods. A K-Ar age of
about 1250 my for a granodiorite pebble in a meta-conglomerate indicates a
Precambrian provenance. The Kemum Formation is intruded by Late
Carboniferous and Perm-Triassic plutons of the Anggi Granite, and by dykes of
basaltic or andesitic composition yielding Pliocene K-Ar ages.
The unit consists dominantly of low-grade metamorphic rocks comprising thinly
interbedded pelitic and psammitic layers with sedimentary textures and
structures typical of distal turbidites. The main rock types are slate, slaty shale,
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argillite and metawacke; meta-arenite and meta-conglomerate are less


common. Thin intercalations of recrystallised limestone and dykes or sills of
metavolcanics are rare. A much less widespread sandy facies consists of locally
calcareous quartz-rich metawacke and meta-arenite and siliceous slate or
argillite.
Permo-Carboniferous Sediments
Aifam Group
The Aifam Group was defined by Pigram and Sukanta (1982) who upgraded the
original definition of the Aifam Formation of Visser and Hermes (1962). The type
area for the group is the Aifam River, a tributary of the Aifat (Kamundan) River,
in the central Birds Head.
The Aifam Group crops out in the Birds Head, southern Birds Neck, along the
southern margin of the Central Range and is known from a few petroleum
exploration wells. In the Birds Head region the Aifam Group crops out along the
south side of the Warsamson Valley, and as a belt extending eastwards from
the Aifat River to the Mios River. In the Birds Neck the Aifam Group is restricted
to thin metamorphosed slivers along the west flank of the Wondiwoi Mountains.
In the Warsamson Valley the Aifam Group is undifferentiated and consists of a
basal arkose overlain by well-bedded quartz sandstone, calcareous shale and
shaley limestone in turn overlain by black shale. The group appears to rest on
the Early Carboniferous Melaiurna Granite. However, a sample of limestone in
float yielded thelodont fish scales of Devonian aspect (Young and Nicoll, 1979).
In the central Birds Head the Aifam Group is divided into three formations. The
lowest is the Aimau Formation and consists of basal thin red conglomerate,
sandstone and shale with silicified wood, overlain by a sequence of well-bedded
siliceous sandstone and greywacke interbedded with shale, siltstone and grey
limestone. The overlying Aifat Mudstone consists of black calcareous mudstone
with abundant concretions, minor dirty limestone and rare thin quartz sandstone
beds. The uppermost Ainim Formation consists of interbedded carbonaceous
silty mudstone, quartz sandstone, greywacke and siltstone, and contains coal
seams up to 1 m thick. The Aifam Group rests unconformably on the SiluroDevonian Kemum Formation.
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The Aifam Group ranges in age from Middle Carboniferous to Late Permian at
the type locality. Numerous fossils throughout the group include silicified wood,
plant fossils, conodonts, corals, bryozoa, brachiopods, ammonoids, fusulinids,
crinoids and a single trilobite.
Jurassic-Cretaceous Sediments
Kembelangan Group
The Kembelangan Formation was originally defined Visser and Hermes (1982)
and raised to group status Pigram and Sukanta (1982). The Kembelangan
Group crops out throughout eastern Birds Head, Birds Neck and Central Range.
In the Birds Head the Kembelangan Group contains of the Jass Formation
(Pigram & Sukanta, 1982) where consists of black to brown partly calcareous
and mudstone, lithic sandstone, muddy sandstone and limestone with a little
quartz sandstone, and quartz or polymictic conglomerate. The maximum
thickness is approximately 400 m.
In the Birds Neck the Kembelangan Group is exposed in the cores of tight
anticlines of the Lengguru Fold Belt. In the west and centre the group consists
of alternating sandstone and mudstone which are progressively metamorphosed in an eastward direction. Along the eastern coast of the Birds Neck
and in the islands offshore in the Transition Zone between Continental and
Oceanic Provinces, the Kembelangan Group is dominated by mudstone which
has also been metamorphosed to slate.
In the Central Range around the Wissel Lakes, the Kembelangan Group
consists of alternating sand and shale in the south and a sequence dominated
by mudstone and partly metamorphosed in the north, largely in the Transition
Zone between the Oceanic and Continental Provinces. The same nomenclature
that was applied to the formations in the Birds Neck has been used in the
southern region. The Middle to Upper Jurassic Kopai Formation consists of light
grey quartz sandstone which is argillaceous, glauconitic and calcareous,
interbedded with black to grey silty mudstone, minor conglomerate, calcarenite,
calcilutite and greensand.

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Tertiary Stratigraphy
Waripi Formation
The Waripi Formation (Visser & Hermes, 1962) out crop in the western
mountains of the Central Range from where it extends westwards into the
southern extremis of the Birds Neck.
The

formation

biocalcarenite,

consists

of

calcareous

well-bedded,
quartz

sandy

sandstone

oolitic
and

calcarenite
red-brown

and
oolitic

biocalcarenite. The limestone commonly dolomitic and in many places contains


foraminifera.
The maximum estimated thickness of the Waripi Formation is 700 m in the
upper Baupo River; Visser and Hem (1962) estimate a thickness of 380 m at
the west end its distribution range but state that the formation thick and
disappears in eastern Irian Jaya.
The Waripi Formation contains no age-diagnostic fossil. The Waripi Formation
is probably of Paleocene age. The clastic detritus in the formation was probably
derived from the south; the oolites suggest a shallow carbonate bank and the
formation was probably deposit on a very shallow shelf.
Faumai Limestone
The Faumai Limestone (Faumai Formation of Visser & Hermes, 1962) can be
recognized in outcrop only in the eastern part of the Birds Head, where it is
overlain by the clastic Sirga Formation and is separated by it from the later,
Miocene part of the New Guinea Limestone Group. The outcrop of the Faumai
Limestone extends from the eastern side of the Ayamaru Plateau eastwards to
the coast of Cenderawasih Bay.
The Faumai Limestone is a well-bedded arenacous limestone consisting of
calcarenite which is commonly muddy. It is about 250 m thick. The limestone
represents carbonate bank and shoal deposits. It contains abundant larger
foraminifera which date it as Ta to Tb or middle Eocene to Oligocene. Lateral
equivalents of the Faumai Limestone are present in the New Guinea Limestone
Group throughout western Irian Jaya, e.g. in the Yawee Limestone, but the

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limestone is recognized as a lithostratigraphic.unit only in the Birds Head where


it is capped by the clastic Sirga Formation.
Sirga Formation
Oligocene of Sirga Formation found subsurface in the Salawati Basin west of
the ayamaru Plateau. The predominant rock types in the Sirga Formation range
from siltstone and mudstone in the west and south to quartz sandstone and
conglomerate in the north and east. It appears to have been derived from a
landmass occupying the present-day outcrop of the Kemum Formation, and to
form a lens-like sheet thinning both north and south from a maximum thickness
of 200 m in the Aifat River. Large and small foraminifera in the Sirga Formation
yield an early Miocene age. The formation is probably transgressive and
deposited in shallow water as sea-level rose after the world-wide drop recorded
by Vail and Mitchem (1979) late Oligocene times.
The Sirga Formation lies conformably on the Faumai Limestone and
disconformably on the Aifam Group near the Ayamaru Plateau. It is conformably
overlain by Kais limestone or, in some exploration wells in the Salawati Basin,
by Klamogun Limestone.
Kais Limestone
The outcrop of the Eocene of Kais Limestone (Kais Formation of Visser &
Hermes, 1962) forms a broad belt crossing the Birds Head from west to east. It
consists of calcarenite and muddy calcarenite; the patch reefs of the Salawati
Basin and the southern margin of the Ayamaru Plateau are formed largely by
boundstone or reef material in the position of growth. The thickness of the
limestone changes considerably, over short distances; the maximum reported
thickness is 557 m.
The Kais Limestone represents a reef complex comprising platform and patch
reef facies. The patch reefs are largely confined to the Salawati Basin. The age
of the Kais Limestone is most probably early to middle Miocene. The Kais
Limestone rests conformably on the Sirga Formation and unconformably on the
Aifam Group. It is laterally equivalent to the Klamogun Limestone, Sekau
Formation, and Klasafet Formation.

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Klasafet Formation
The Klasafet Formation (Visser & Hermes, 1962) crops out discontinuously
across the Birds Head from west to east, though it appears to be almost
continuous subsurface in the Salawati Basin at least. The formation consists of
massive to well-bedded marl, micaceous and calcareous siltstone and a little
limestone.
Visser and Hermes estimate the thickness of the Klasafet Formation to be
approximately 1900 m. The formation is 500 m thick in the Klamono oil field.
The Klasafet Formation is contemperaneous with the Kais Limestone and is a
facies deposited in deeper water below wave-base in the same basin in which
abundant reefs grew and merged in shallow water to form the patch reefs and
platforms of the Kais Limestone. The marly sediment eventually built up to the
level of the reefs and smothered them. Visser and Hermes (1962) note that the
youngest sediments; shallow-water deposits and that a southward decrease
clastic material in the Klasafet Formation indicate northern source for the
material. The age of the Klasafet Formation is early to middle Miocene; it may
range into the late Miocene. The Klasafet Formation overlies and is probably
also partly equivalent the Klamogun Limestone. The Klasafet Formation seals
the oil-bearing patch reef of the Salawati Basin.
Klasaman Formation
The Klasaman Formation was defined by Visser and Hermes (1962). It crops
out over a large area of Salawati Island in the western Birds Head and along the
southern side of the Ayamaru Plateau as far east as the Kais River. The
Klasaman Formation has been penetrated in many wells drilled in the Salawati
Basin.
The late Miocene to Pliocene Klasaman formation consists of interbedded
sandy, partly calcareous mudstone and muddy, partly calcareous sandstone. In
the upper part conglomerates and lignite seams occur. Minor molluscan
coquina beds are also present. Conglomerates are more common to the north.
The maximum thickness is about 4500 m. Benthonic and pelagic foraminifera,
molluscs and bryozoa are the most common fossils.

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The Klasaman Formation rests conformably on the Klasafet Formation to the


south and disconformably on it in the north. The Kalasaman Formation is
overlain unconformably by the Quaternary Sele Conglomerate.The Klasaman
Formation is an immature source rock. Some of the coarse clastic beds near
the northern parts of the Salawati Basin may have reservoir potential.
Sele Conglomerate
The Sele Conglomerate was defined by Visser and Hermes (1962). It crops out
on Salawati Island and in the western Birds Head, east of Sorong. It consists of
polymictic conglomerate with thin claystone and sandstone intercalations. Plant
remains are common. Maximum thickness is 120 m. No diagnostic fossils have
been found the formation and is therefore younger than Pliocene.
XIII.3 Petroleum System
XIII.3.1 Source Rock
The potential source rock base on geochemical analyses indicated that the
source rock is rich in fresh brackish water algae and higher plants and the oil
was generated at about middle maturity level. The gas chromatography
analyses suggest that the source of the crude is generated from a mixture of
terrestrially derived organic matter and bacterial bodies (algae), deposited
under rather acidic, low oxygen conditions. Generation of oil is at thermally
mature levels. In the Salawati Basin several formation, which were deposited in
shallow marine or paralic environments could be considered as potentially
hydrocarbon source rock.
Klasaman Shales
The Plio-Pleistocene Klasaman shale contains high levels of organic matter, but
they are immature in most part of the basin. These shales are unlucky to
produce any significant hydrocarbon.
Klasafet Shales
In the deeper part of the basin, where the Klasafet is mature based on the
Lopatin subsidence profile, the peak of oil generation (TTI 75 eq. Ro = 1 %) at
the present time, is at around 250o F (100oC) or 10,000 depth.

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Sirga Shale
The Sirga shale has been penetrated in only a few wells. They contain type I
and II kerogens in one well and type IV in others. They are partly mature in the
basin. Part of the oil in the Salawati Basin may be sourced from this formation.
XIII.3.2 Reservoir Rock
The Miocene Kais Formation, where porous reefal carbonate facies developed,
is the primary reservoir target in the Salawati Basin. According to Robinson and
Soedirdja (1986), the reefs grew on a widespread carbonate platform during
transgressive episodes in the Miocene and in the southern part of the Salawati
basin; three reef stages can be recognized. The reefal carbonates consist of
bioclastic packstones and wackestones with numereous biohermal and
biostromal build-ups.
XIII.3.3 Seal Rock
Intraformational shale of the Kais Formation suggestively form seal for
hydrocarbon accumulation in the Salawati Basin.
XIII.3.4 Migration and Trapping Mechanism
In the Salawati basin, the Neogene section may act as potential source where
time and depth of burial have slowed maturity to be reached. Updip lateral
migration is provided in a radial from away the kitchen area covering the Sele
strait and northern Salawati Island. In case of oil generated in the Aifam Group,
upward migration could be taken places vertically through fault in to the
overlying Kais reef traps. The structures of the oil fields in the Salawati basin
are mostly associated with normal fault which have connected the Permian
sequence with the Kais reservoir traps.
XIII.4 Hydrocarbon Play
The Miocene Klasafat calcareous fine clastics were regarded as the best
potential source rocks to generate hydrocarbons in the Salawati Basin. Most of
the produced oils in the basin are from the slightly anoxic calcareous marine
facies, which have a significant terrestrial kerogen component and were
generated at moderate thermal maturity levels. These hydrocarbons are

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believed to have migrated through and been trapped in the Miocene carbonates
of the Kais reefs very recently, with hydrocarbon generation and expulsion
occuring only in the last few million years. This simple concept of hydrocarbon
migration assumed the possibility of normal faults down-stepping to the basin,
being conduits for vertical hydrocarbon migration from the Kais carrier beds into
the younger reservoirs (Figure 4). Conceptually the Pliocene carbonate build-up
play type was considered a good potential reservoir to trap such vertically
migrated hydrocarbons.

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References
Pieters P.E., Piagam C.J., Trail D.S., Dow D.B., Ratman N., dan Sukamto R.,
1983, The Stratigraphy of Western Irian Jaya, Proceed. Indon. Petrol.
Assoc.12th Ann. Conv. pp 229-261.
Phoa R.S.K., Samuel L., 1986, Problem of Source Rock Identification In The
Salawati Basin, Irian Jaya, Proceed. Indon. Petrol. Assoc.15th Ann.
Conv. pp 406-421.
Djumhana N., Syarief A.M., 1990, Pliocene Carbonate Build-Ups A New Play in
the Salawati Basin, Proceed. PIT XIX IAGI, Bandung, pp 119-135.

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130E

135E

140E

Jayapura

130E

135E

140E

FIGURE 1. Location Map of Salawati Basin

13030E

131 0 0 E

13130E

Kemun High

10
Kilometer

FIGURE 2. Regional Tectonic of Salawati Basin

20

AGE

FORMATION S

PLEISTOCENE

SELE

PLIOCENE

KLASAMAN
KLASAFET

LITHOLOGY
S

MIOCENE
R

OLIGOCENE

PALEOCENE
CRETACEOUS

JURASSIC

UPPER
KEMBELANGAN

MIDDLE
KEMBELANGAN

LOWER
KEMBELANGAN

M
L

OCCURRENCE

TERUMBU-1
SALAWATI
DEVON
ENERGY
FIELDS

CARBONATPLATFORM
WITHREEFS

CLASTICINFLUXFROM
LOCALHIGHS

WARIPI

FINALTECTONIC
(SORONG
FAULTMOVEMENT)

HYDROCARBON

FAUMAI

EOCENE

REGIONAL
EVENT

S
R

SIRGA

DEPOSITIONAL
SYSTEM
CLASTICINFLUXFROM
INVERTEDHIGHS

KAIS

KLARI-1
OLIGOCENEUPLIFT
CHANGEOF
PACIFIXPLATE
MOVEMENT

CARBONATEPLATFORM
WITHLOCALLYREEFS
SHALLOW MARINE CLASTIC
INFLUX
OPENMARINEFACIES
(DEEPMARINE)

ENDOF
CRETACEOUSUPLIFT
(INITIALCOLLISIOAN
OFTHENORTHERN
MARGINOFAUSTRALIAN
ANDTHEPACIFIXPLATES)

MERAKEMAS-1
WIRIAGAR
DEEPPLAY
FIELD

WIRIAGARFIELD

MIDDLETOOUTER
NERITICFACIES

NONMARINETOTRANSITION
FACIES

WIRIAGAR,
VORWATA,
UBADARI,
ROABIBA
FIELD

COASTALPLAINSEDIMENTS

WIRIAGAR
FIELD

TRIASSIC
AINIM

PERMIAN

AIFAT
AIMAU

CARBONI
FEROUS
DEVONIAN

SHALLOWMARINESEDIMENTS

Legend

KEMUM

S Source S Seal R Reservoar

FIGURE 3. Regional Stratigraphy of Salawati Basin

PLAY CONCEPT

WEST

EAST

SALAWATIISLAND

ARAR BLOCK
LINE 6
FAULT
TERUMBU

KLASAMAN

KLASAMAN
R
S

S
R

KAIS
PRETERTIARY
GRANITE

KLASAFET

Legend
S Source
R Reservoar
S Seal

FIGURE 4. Hydrocarbon Paly Model of Salawati Basin