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Deep-Water Sedimentation of South East Asia
Jakarta 14 - 16 May 2001

Origin of Pliocene Deep-Water Sedimentation in
Salawati Basin, Eastern Indonesia :
Deposition in Inverted Basin and Exploration Implications

Awang H. Satyana1)
Imam Setiawan1)

ABSTRACT area. Low densities of overpressured Klasaman
shales caused the shales flowed upward as
Salawati Basin is a foreland basin located at the diapirs. Sorong Tectonism controlled these
frontal edge of the Indian-Australian continental diapirs as shown by their parallel trends with the
plate. Sorong Fault, a major strike-slip fault in Sorong Fault. The Klasaman diapirism may
Eastern Indonesia and terminating the basin to relate with hydrocarbon traps of faulted domal
the north, has inverted the basin’s polarity in the structures, dragged beds below the diapirs’
Late Pliocene by subsiding the whole overhang zones, faulted beds in the peripheral
northwestern part of the basin. Before this sinks, and turtle structures.
inversion, the Salawati Basin had a southern
depocenter. INTRODUCTION

The newly formed northwestern depocenter has Recent success of exploring hydrocarbons in
subsided rapidly since the inversion as an deep-water reservoirs throughout the world has
isostatic compensation to the southern and enhanced the understanding of deep-water
eastern uplifts. This condition resulted in the sedimentation. Concepts within seismic
accommodation space for northwestern deep- sequence stratigraphy have contributed very
water sedimentation. Sediments were eroded significantly to this success. However,
from the uplifted areas and deposited rapidly understanding of the depositional system
into the subsiding basin as debris flow deposits relating to various tectonic setting has not been
of Pliocene Klasaman sediments within bathyal fully understood. This paper contributes some
depositional environment. The depocenter was concepts to this understanding by addressing the
increasingly subsided by tectonic loading of the case in the Salawati Basin, Eastern Indonesia.
contemporaneous Upper Klasaman multiple
thrust sheets. The Salawati Basin, Eastern Indonesia, based on
our recent regional evaluation, is a poly-history
Thick deep Klasaman deposits became burial basin with the history of basin’s polarity
sediments for the Miocene source rocks once inversion during its evolution. Sorong Fault
deposited in the lagoonal environment to attain a Tectonism bordering the Salawati Basin to the
depth of oil window. Rapid Klasaman north and west has strongly controlled the basin
deposition triggered overpressuring and shale since the Pliocene. The Sorong Fault has
diapirism. The deposition was too fast for the inverted the basin’s polarity from the old pre-
sediments to compact and dewater in normal Pliocene southern depocenter to the new
way. Overburden pressure and lack of permeable Pliocene northwestern depocenter. Within the
conduits caused the overpressuring. The Pliocene, the new depocenter has subsided
Klasaman overpressuring presents a drilling rapidly forming a deep-water basin. The
hazard as undergone by all wells drilled in the Pliocene Klasaman sediments eroded from the

1) Exploration Pertamina MPS
(Management of Production Sharing)

(Figure 1). Faumai Formation. this basin’s west. Tertiary sediments of the Salawati Sorong Fault was formed to accommodate the Basin began with the Late Eocene to Early oblique convergence between the Philippine Sea Oligocene transgressive carbonates of the Plate and northern Australian Continental Plate. sediments from the Late Paleozoic to the The deformed zone of the left-lateral Sorong Miocene thickened (Figure 3). the thickest sediments in the Salawati Basin. deposited very rapidly into the subsiding deep this fault is part of a large global transcurrent basin. continental plate. the basement rocks of the Siluro-Devonian Kemum Salawati Basin started to undergo significant metamorphic and Carbo-Permian Aifam tectonic changes. This tectonic history from Paleozoic time to the had shifted the depocenter slightly to the Recent (Figure 2). Upper DEEP-WATER BASIN Klasaman sediments were rapidly deposited into this new basin which was contemporaneously The Sorong Fault presently bounding the subsiding. The Pliocene Klasaman clastics ended compared to the conditions of the pre-Miocene the Tertiary stratigraphic sequences composing periods. Consequently. The rapid Klasaman deposition triggered zone that separates the westward moving overpressuring and shale diapirism. Regionally. This configuration resulted in the contemporaneous with the Klasafet lagoonal condition of reversed basin's polarity as deposits. and west providing large space of accommodation for depositing sediments eroded ORIGIN OF PLIOCENE SALAWATI from the uplifted areas (Figure 4). In this area. is The southern. Miocene Kais Formation cover this formation. Overlying the carbonates. northwestern. the Salawati Basin deposits of the Pleistocene Sele conglomerates started to tilt significantly to the north.SSW normal faults formed Sorong Fault Tectonism strongly controlled the as conjugates of the Sorong Fault. Thick carbonates of the uplifted. the eastern part of sequence of the basin is the continental the basin was uplifted. Overlying the basement are the changes in plates movement around the north Mesozoic sediments (Tipuma and Kembelangan of Irian Jaya and the Southwest Pacific. The Sorong basin’s configuration.southern and eastern uplifted areas were controlled the evolution of the basin. The groups).west trending known that the Salawati Basin has had a long asymmetric foreland basin located on the history of dipping southward into which northern margin of the Indo-Australian Plate. the western. eastern and the Late Oligocene shallow marine clastics of northeastern parts of the basin were increasingly the Sirga Formation. the Upper Klasaman Salawati Basin to the north has strongly reached its maximum thickness constituting . Fault has also developed en echelon folds and synthetic left-lateral faults with normal slip in At the Middle-Late Miocene time. it is The Salawati Basin is an east . and northern parts of the basin The thick Kais carbonate deposition was were subsided. However. Some formations Fault presently bounds the basin to the north and onlapped to the north. Molassic In the end of mid-Pliocene. northwest end the stratigraphy of the basin. At the Mio-Pliocene. GEOLOGIC SETTING Based on the thickness of the formations. southeastern. Basin started tilting southwestward possibly due to initial plates readjustment around the The Salawati Basin records the stratigraphic and Northern Irian Jaya and Southwest Pacific. the Salawati the Salawati Island. This was possibly related with sediments. The fault trends east-west as left-lateral (sinistral strike-slip) fault. Exploration Pacific oceanic (Caroline and Philippine Sea) implications of this Pliocene deep-water plate from the relatively stable Australian sedimentation are also addressed in the paper. This paper discusses these sediments. The oldest stratigraphic southwest and consequently. The present structural style of the basin is polarity was disturbed significantly when the dominated by NNE .

sedimentation in the northwestern area (Figure They are : (1) subsidence due to isostatic 5). Contemporaneously. 1968. 1985). formations thickened to the south. In this area. Kais/Klasafet sediments of the Kemum High. the Sorong sediments were deposited. 1990). of the Upper Klasaman sediments was deposited into the basin mostly as turbiditic debris flow Thus. Lemon. Before this. the depositional These three mechanisms are related to each environment was increasingly deeper since the other and triggered by the Sorong Tectonism. northeastern parts of the Salawati Basin became the provenances of the Pliocene Klasaman KLASAMAN SHALE DIAPIRISM sediments deposited in the subsiding northern and western basin. eastern. basin was more tilting. This episode of the Sorong Tectonism. This formation mainly consists of caused the clays flowed upward as diapirs. Three wells penetrating the sediments in this region generally consist of rapid alternation of clays. and some regressive sandy sequences (Allen and Allen. The deposition of the Upper deposition of the Early Pliocene Lower Klasaman was too fast for the Lower Klasaman Klasaman in inner to outer sublittoral clays to compact and dewater in normal way. all pre-Lower Klasaman or tectonic vertical stress. calcareous shales with limestone and siltstone Doming and piercing of diapiric materials occur stringers indicating provenances of uplifted primarily because the density of the plastic Klasafet and Kais carbonates. The sediments close to the provenance (in the compensation to uplifting. The Lower materials is lower than that of the overlying Klasaman slightly thickens to the north sediments (O’Brien. due to very thick burial loads. These provenances were : (1) Shale-dominating Lower Klasaman and coarser to the south and east were the uplifted Miocene rapid deposits of Upper Klasaman triggered the Kais carbonates of the Misool-Onin Geanticline Klasaman shale/mud diapirism. Marly clays with a more caused the inversion/reversal of the Salawati or less silts and sands dominate the deep-water Basin’s polarity resulting in a deep-water basin. underneath the thick. rapidly deposited metasediments. siltstones and Uplifted areas in the southern. This period was Tectonism was also taking place to deform the contemporaneous with the initiation of major Upper Klasaman during the Late Pliocene.more than two third of the basin's strata. (2) subsidence due to Sele Strait area) are characterized dominantly by very thick burial sediments. due to tectonic loading of multiple thrust sheets. and (3) subsidence coarse sands with significant lithic content. This indicates . there are at least three mechanisms which within bathyal setting. Huge volume Klasaman multiple thrust sheets. Subsidence of the Salawati Basin is approximately equaled by the rise of the Klasaman sedimentation was started by the Klasaman diapir. environments with lagoonal facies developed in Low densities of overpressured Klasaman clays some areas. and sandstones. The that the inversion of the Salawati Basin’s new basin. More to the west and northwest. the bathyal condition was reached and the sediments DEEP-WATER SEDIMENTATION OF obtained their highest rate of sedimentation KLASAMAN (Figure 6). oceanic fragments. consequently. was more subsiding polarity initially occurred in the Early Pliocene. The basin also subsided due to tectonic response of isostatic Significant deep-water sedimentation took place compensation to the southern and eastern when the Late Pliocene Upper Klasaman uplifting. The Kemum has also subsided the new basin due to tectonic High at the northeastern part of the basin loading of the contemporaneous Upper contributed most of the sediments. Mud diapirism and the Ayamaru Platform respectively and (2) is mostlikely to develop in clay sequences to the northeast was continental basement. This revealing the first emergence of the northern density inversion causes gravitational instability depocenter.

9 ) show that the quality of Intra-Klasaman sands and the Klasaman diapirs had passed through all stages presence of faults for vertical migration conduits of diapiric development : (1) pillow. The Early Pliocene Lower Klasaman shales are Deep-water Klasaman sedimentation have some also proven source rocks and they also became implications on hydrocarbon exploration.8 Ma (mid-Pliocene time) as the initiation of forming the fold and thrust belts of North major oil generation from the Klasafet/Kais and Salawati. The sediments were deposited in lagoonal peripheral sinks. Faulted beds in the upper triggered tectonically by the horizontal stress of sections of the Klasaman Formation and turtle the Sorong Fault Tectonism. Waibu-1 (1957). Waipili-1 found gas activity play an important role in the formation of oil and a blowout in the shallow Upper Klasaman and gas traps in overlying strata (Wang Xie-Pei sediments. Three wells drilled in this area : Waipili- 1 (1956). the proven main source rocks of the Salawati reverse and thrust faults were formed within the Basin. sediments buried these sources. the diapirs. Structures associated and Kais sources with the Intra-Klasaman traps with these three stages are observed. 1982). Underlying the diapirs. Klasafet and (3) post-diapir stages. At the upper section. Waibu-1 and WIR-1 encountered et al. Klasaman overpressuring presents a drilling hazard. Thermal modeling revealed that deformed as surface anticlines or faults. The dragged Intra-Klasaman sand . connecting mature Lower Klasaman. As the form. Turtle structure is also observed to still tilted to the south (Figure 10). the area Kais formations are deformed by normal faults subsided to the north and was immediately down to the north. are increasingly steeper towards the younger then the interbedded Intra-Klasaman shales section. Rim seems to hold the keys for hydrocarbon synclines were formed right to the diapirs and accumulation. the Hydrocarbons were generated and started to uppermost section of the Klasaman was migrate updip. 9). seeps at the fold and thrust belts of North Later seismic data (1991) show that both Salawati. partly 3. the Klasafet and basin’s polarity inversion took place. Evidence that the Klasaman severe technical difficulties in the overpressured diapirism is closely related with the hydrocarbon Klasaman shales and each well was sidetracked accumulation is shown by numerous oil and gas into four sidetrack holes due to pipe sticking.The distribution of the Klasaman diapirs shows beds against the walls of the diapirs and below an alignment with the major structural element the overhang zones of the diapirs also provide (Figure 7). maturation of hydrocarbon sources. and drilling hazard due to overpressuring. In the absence of these conduits. The peripheral sinks immediately should be mature and have generative capacity adjacent to the rim synclines were the sites of to make the accumulation possible. and West Island Reef The Klasaman diapirism may relate with (WIR) -1 (1993) all encountered drilling hydrocarbon traps (Figures 8. These faults are deeply buried by the Klasaman sediments to compensating faults due to the basin subsidence attain a such depth of the oil window. Three mature when very thick Upper Klasaman aspects are discussed : presence of diapiric traps. Overlying the diapirs. this was contemporaneous with the EXPLORATION IMPLICATIONS commencement of the basin’s polarity inversion. The faults generally verge to environment at the northern area when the basin the south. structures within the peripheral sinks are potential hydrocarbon traps as well. (2) diapir. to the north. indicating that these diapirs were the diapiric traps. Reservoir Seismic sections (Figures 8. active subsidence and therefore the sites for considerable thickening of the sediments being Miocene Klasafet/Kais shales and carbonates are deposited at that time. These fold and thrust belts partly Waipili-1 and Waibu-1 wells are located at the represent the faulted domal structures overlying diapiric surface anticlines. The flowing problem due to penetrating overpressured and doming of plastic materials at deep levels Klasaman shales..

The CONCLUSIONS AAPG Bulletin. Zhang Jia-Hua. Irian Jaya. (2) to provide diapiric Wang Xie-Pei.. Eastern Indonesia. Lemon. Flinders Ranges. 8. Basin polarity reversal and deposited very rapidly into the subsiding rotation of the Salawati Island : basin and the sedimentation has triggered implications on petroleum system and the diapirism within the deep basin. Physical modeling of sedimentation adjacent to diapirs and comparison with Late Precambrian Oratunga breccia body in Central . This deep-water basin was formed by the G.M.D. hydrocarbon traps. and O’Brien. Diapirism and Diapirs : inversion of the basin’s polarity and was AAPG Memoir No. p. J. 69. G. 1985. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AHS/slwtideep/27-3-2001 This paper roots from the regional studies conducted by the Salawati Exploration Group of the Pertamina and Santa Fe Energy Resources. V.. 1968. • The Upper Klasaman sediments were Satyana. The AAPG.. 12.H. Proceedings Lomba Karya Tulis Direktorat EP Pertamina. 1999. Tectonism. • Rapid deposition of the Upper Klasaman p. Oxford. No. 9. 451 ps.D. Survey of diapirs and Late Pliocene Upper Klasaman sediments. and Allen. diapirism in Braunstein. P. N. strongly controlled by the Sorong Tulsa. The management of the JOB Pertamina- Santa Fe Salawati and the Exploration Department of the Pertamina MPS (Management of Production Sharing) is acknowledged for the supports to this paper.. 69. eds. The first author joined the Group in 1997-2000. No. A. 9-38. Sartono and Sugiri from Santa Fe Salawati drafted most of the figures. China. South Australia. The AAPG Bulletin. records the deep-water sedimentation of the O’Brien. and (3) to present drilling Cenozoic diapiric traps in Eastern hazard due to diapiric overpressuring.. 2098-2109. Isnaini from Santa Fe Salawati is thanked for providing seismic supports. V. Blackwell Scientific Publications. 1990. REFERENCES Allen. p. 1327- 1338. J. Basin analysis : principles and applications..A. 1-9. • The Salawati Basin.R. sediments has three exploration implications : (1) to subside the Salawati Basin to the depth of oil window. Fei Qi. 1985. p. new potential reserves of the Salawati Basin.

.Figure 1 Salawati Basin tectonic setting and major structural elements. Figure 2 Generalized stratigraphy of the Salawati Basin and significant geologic episodes.

.Figure 3 Salawati Basin evolution showing the inversion of the basin’s polarity in Late Pliocene time.

Figure 5 Upper Klasaman sedimentation. Deep-water setting took place in the northwestern partof the basin. Figure 4 Deep-water setting of the northwestern part of the Salawati Basin depocenter. .

The wells are located in the Upper-Klasaman deep- water sedimentation. . Upper Klasaman sedimentation Upper Klasaman sedimentation Figure 6 Rapid subsidence and deposition of Upper Klasaman sediments from 2300 to 3800 feet/million year.

. Representative seismic sections A-A’ and B-B’ are indicated. A B A’ B’ Figure 7 Top Intra-Klasaman time structure map showing the distribution of the Klasaman diapirs (reflection free area) which are parallel with the Sorong Fault.

.NW SE A A 5 3 B 4 A 2 1 0 1 2 km PERIPHERAL SINK 5 3 TOP INTRA KLASAMAN DIAPIR RIM SYNCLINES B TURTLE 4 A PINCHOUT TRAP SORONG FAULT ZONE 2 BASE LOWER KLASAMAN TOP KAIS 1 Figure 8 Seismic line and geologic interpretation of section A-A’ showing structure and potential traps associated with the Klasaman diapirsm.

.NW SE B B’ 3 A A B 5 4 2 1 0 2 4 km PERIPHERAL SINK 3 TOP INTRA KLASAMAN PINCHOUT A DI A A PI R B FAULT 2 4 5 BASE LOWER KLASAMAN SORONG FAULT ZONE RIM SYNCLINES TOP KAIS 1 Figure 9 Seismic line and geologic interpretation of section B-B’ showing structure and potential traps associated with the Klasaman diapirsm.

.KAIS/KLASAFET depocenter deep-water basin oil window KLASAMAN deep-water basin deep-water basin Figure 10 Basin modeling showing the effect of inversion of the Salawati Basin’s polarity.