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Marine and Petroleum Geology 25 (2008) 103–129

Petroleum systems of Indonesia

Harry Dousta, , Ron A. Nobleb,1
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 prolific 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
classified 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 fills. 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 identified ‘‘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 number of sedimentary basins and petroleum provinces

encountered throughout the archipelago.
Petroleum exploration in Indonesia has had a long and Description of the petroleum systems of Indonesia can
successful history. Some of the earliest oil production of thus rest upon a foundation of an extensive, comprehensive
the modern age comes from shallow fields in Java and and reliable database that can be found, for the most part, in
Sumatra, and discoveries have been made throughout the the public domain. Many of the publications are detailed,
past century up to the present day. Knowledge of the but several overviews have been published through the
petroleum habitat has been encouraged since the 1970s, years, concentrating particularly on the various charge and
partly thanks to an enlightened policy of cooperation by reservoir systems as well as on the common play types
the petroleum community in Indonesia, through technical represented in the different basins. In this paper, we make
conferences and through publications sponsored by the reference only to a restricted number of ‘‘key’’ publications
Indonesian Petroleum Association (IPA). This cooperation that provide good summaries of the various themes or areas.
amongst industry participants has grown from the need to They all provide access to a much larger literature, which we
develop a comprehensive understanding of the large have used to prepare both text and figures.
In an early and excellent publication, Soeparjardi et al.
Corresponding author. (1975) identified important characteristics of the basins
E-mail address: (H. Doust). which were known to contain hydrocarbon accumulations:
Current address: Anadarko Indonesia Company, Jakarta, Indonesia. namely, Eocene to Miocene transgression, followed by

0264-8172/$ - see front matter r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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mid-Miocene to Pliocene regression and Quaternary We refer to many of these plots in this publication.
transgression. They also described the six main reservoir Importantly, they noted that many of the 34 systems did
systems that were known in productive basins-transgressive not contain a single area of mature source rock, but
clastics, regressive clastics, deltaic deposits, carbonate represented in fact a composite of several distinct source
platform complexes, pinnacle reefs and fractured volcanics. areas. In order to work with manageable numbers of
Their publication formed the basis for all subsequent systems, and thereby identify the similarities and differ-
attempts to review the hydrocarbon habitat of Indonesian ences between them, we believe it is necessary to group
basins, and provides the foundation of the approach individual petroleum systems into families. Doust (2003)
presented here. presented a proposed framework for the identification of
Following the formalization of the petroleum system petroleum systems in southeast (SE) Asia, and this is
concept (Magoon and Dow, 1994), Howes and Tisnawijaya applied in the classification presented here.
(1995) used a modified and more practical approach to There are many petroleum-bearing sedimentary basins in
summarize the petroleum systems of Indonesia in a Indonesia (Darman and Hasan Sidi, 2000), the number
landmark paper. They tabulated 34 petroleum systems depending on whether each individual synrift graben is
associated with documented accumulations as well as counted, or whether they are grouped by province. We
others that were thought to exist but in which no have followed the classification used by the IPA for their
discoveries had yet been made. For the known systems, set of field atlases (Indonesian Petroleum Association,
they presented plots of cumulative ultimate discovery 1997–1991), which also represents common usage. Descrip-
volumes (in million barrels of oil equivalent) versus number tion of the geology and hydrocarbon habitat of these
of fields in discovery order (so-called creaming curves). 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.
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names (many of them essentially lithofacies and lithofacies In nearly all of the basins, four stages of tectonostrati-
equivalents) and conflicting age attribution. We have graphic evolution can be recognized (Fig. 2):
adopted the stratigraphies from the atlases in general,
though we have modified them where we felt this was 1. Early Synrift (typically Eocene to Oligocene)—corre-
justified. We have reviewed in detail the petroleum systems sponds with the period of rift graben formation and the
with commercial, or soon to be commercial, fields only. following period of maximum subsidence. Often deposi-
Throughout Indonesia other potential systems are devel- tion is limited to early-formed half-grabens.
oped (indicated, for instance, by oil seepages in frontier 2. Late Synrift (Late Oligocene to Early Miocene)—
basins), but our main object here is to identify and emphasize corresponds with the period of waning subsidence in
the main characteristics of the successful and productive the graben, when individual rift elements amalgamated
ones, so that the lessons can be applied elsewhere. to form extensive lowlands that filled with paralic
2. Tectonostratigraphic evolution of far east Tertiary 3. Early Postrift (typically Early to Middle Miocene)—
petroleum basins corresponds with a period of tectonic quiescence
following marine transgression that covered the existing
The sedimentary basins of Indonesia form the core of a graben–horst topography.
family of Tertiary basins developed throughout SE Asia 4. Late Postrift (typically Middle Miocene to Pliocene)—
(Fig. 1). Though they may differ slightly in age and corresponding to periods of inversion and folding,
development, they share many characteristics: nearly all of during which regressive deltas were formed.
them pass through an early Tertiary synrift to late Tertiary
postrift geological history, they all have an almost A final transgressive period characterizes the Quatern-
exclusively land–plant and/or lacustrine–algal charge ary, but it has no significance to petroleum habitat and will
system and they are characterized by rapid short wave- not be referred to further.
length sedimentary variations involving a distinct suite of These stages can be related to the area’s plate tectonic
depositional environments and their associated lithofacies. evolution (Hall, 1997), particularly to early Tertiary

Fig. 2. Chronostratigraphy of Indonesian petroliferous basins, showing stages, background tectonics and geodynamic events. Seafloor spreading events
and continental collisions are from Longley (1997).
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transtensional stresses generated by the India–Asia colli- accumulations. In Indonesia, this is rendered very difficult
sion (including opening of the South China Sea (30–20 Ma) by the fact that: (a) many source rocks are thin and/or
and with late Tertiary uplift and inversions caused by widely distributed within the sequence, (b) most oils and
collisions and plate rotations. They can also be correlated gases derived from any particular type of source rock (e.g.
with the four phases or stages of SE Asian tectonostrati- deltaic or lacustrine) cannot be readily distinguished from
graphic evolution as defined by Longley (1997). His Stage I others in the same group, and (c) a large amount of mixing
(50–43.5 Ma) corresponds to a period of early continental of lacustrine and terrestrial oils appears to have taken
collision, which led to the formation of many of the older place. Ten Haven and Schiefelbein (1995) nevertheless were
synrift grabens, while his Stage II (43.5–32 Ma), during able to define whether charge in each basin in Indonesia
which major plate reorganizations took place, resulted in was derived from Tertiary lacustrine, terrigenous or marine
the formation and active subsidence of a younger popula- source rocks or whether it came from Mesozoic sources: In
tion of rifts. Stage III (32–21 Ma), contemporaneous with fact, they used this to define which petroleum systems were
sea floor spreading in the South China Sea, was a period present, in much the same way as presented here—
during which rifting ceased, local inversion took place although we relate the petroleum systems more specifically
and a major marine transgression marked the beginning to the basin development stage.
of postrift development. Stage IV (21–0 Ma) was chara- The extensive mixing is probably a consequence of the
cterized by a maximum transgression, followed by several limited development of regional seals, and its effect is that
collision phases that led to inversions, uplift and the charge from some of the petroleum system types defined
development of regressive deltaic sequences. This is equi- here contributes to accumulations in younger petroleum
valent to the early and late postrift stages. system types.
The four basic petroleum system types (or PSTs; for more
3. Relationship of tectono-stratigraphic history to petroleum detail see Doust and Lijmbach (1997), where they are
system development referred to as hydrocarbon systems) correlate well with the
four basin stages described in the previous section, and have
For many years, it has been recognized that most the following characteristics (for a summary see Fig. 15):
sedimentary basins have complex histories that can be
divided into stages or cycles (mentioned above). Kingston 1. Early Synrift Lacustrine PST: This is strongly oil prone
et al. (1983) described a method by which various basin due to the widespread development of organic-rich
types could be categorized by their sequence of evolu- lacustrine type I/II source rocks, and is common in
tionary stages. SE Asia Tertiary basins were classified as western Indonesian basins. Reservoirs comprise fluvio-
two-stage wrench or shear basins, in recognition of their lacustrine clastics and volcaniclastics of limited quality,
early synrift phase with probable transtensional origin, intimately interbedded with non-marine shales. A com-
followed by almost inevitable inversions related to the prehensive summary of this PST is given by Sladen (1997).
inherent instability (reflected in the poor preservation 2. Late Synrift Transgressive Deltaic PST: Deltaic or
potential of this basin type). They also noted that each paralic sequences with an overall backstepping devel-
basin stage typically comprised a transgressive–regressive opment typify this PST. Source rocks comprise type
sedimentary cycle, which today we can recognize as a II/III coals and coaly shales that produce both oil and
first order sequence, containing lowstand, transgressive gas, interbedded with fluvio-deltaic sand reservoirs and
and highstand systems tracts, bounded by regionally cor- seals, often of excellent quality.
relatable horizons. 3. Early Postrift Marine PST: Source rocks in this principally
It is our belief that in many basins, petroleum systems marine shale sequence are mainly lean and/or gas-prone.
can be related directly to basin stage, since first-order The main reservoirs comprise open marine carbonates,
sedimentary sequences often contain source, reservoir and including reefal buildups. This PST contains the only
seal rocks, frequently in a favourable vertical succession. widespread regional seal in many Indonesian basins.
We have applied this concept to Indonesian petroleum 4. Late Postrift Regressive Deltaic PST: This PST has
systems, albeit with some modifications in recognition of similar environments and characteristics as the Late
the synrift development (which does not lend itself easily to synrift PST except that the overall deltaic development
the classic model of sequence stratigraphy) and the rapid is typically progradational rather than retrogradational.
facies variations. In most cases, it lies at depths too shallow for
Doust and Lijmbach (1997) and Doust (1999) proposed hydrocarbon generation, but where major deltas are
that almost all of the petroleum systems developed in developed on continent margins, it represents the
Indonesian basins could be ascribed to one of four basic dominant system.
types, each with its characteristic source, reservoir and seal
facies. By classifying them in this way, it is possible to make 4. Aspects of the hydrocarbon system
broad comparisons of basin prospectivity. Recognition of
discrete petroleum systems depends on geochemical corre- In this section, we summarize the characteristics of the
lation between source rocks and their related hydrocarbon main elements common to Indonesian petroleum systems.
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This is possible because the basins share a relatively limited detail by Todd et al. (1997) and by Schiefelbein and
number of environmentally related lithofacies and have Cameron (1997), are as follows:
similar tectonic settings. The basins situated proximal to Lacustrine: Lacustrine oils originate from mainly algal
the Sunda shelf have a stronger component of proximal type I/II kerogen, which accumulated in deep or shallow
lacustrine–deltaic lithofacies throughout their develop- fresh to brackish water lakes, primarily in the early synrift
ment, while those at the edges of the Tertiary continental stage of basin development. Several sub-families have been
margin develop more marine facies characterized by thick recognized (e.g. in Central Sumatra, Williams and Eubank,
marine shales and carbonates. This is reflected directly in 1995) which are linked to variable water chemistry and the
their hydrocarbon habitat, so that the petroleum systems admixture of terrestrial organic detritus.
and plays developed in the various basins can be linked Paralic or deltaic: Hydrocarbons from source rocks of
directly to the overall three-dimensional facies/environ- this type arise from coals and coaly shales deposited in a
mental sequence and the tectonic history. variety of fluvial to estuarine lower coastal plain environ-
ments, typically in the late synrift and late postrift basin
4.1. Source rocks stages. The kerogen is mainly of terrigenous (land plant)
origin, type II/III, but may contain some algal elements
The geochemistry of oils and source rocks from derived from floodplain lakes. In general, a mixture of oil
Indonesia has been reviewed by many authors, and there and gas is generated.
is general consensus that the host organic matter originated Marine: Hydrocarbons generated from marine source
from land–plants and/or algal–lacustrine source material. rocks have geochemical characteristics that are broadly
A summary of information on source types in the major similar to those from the paralic environments in that
petroleum provinces of Indonesia is presented in Fig. 3. they are derived from detrital land plant organic matter.
The source rock depositional environments, described in 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.
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other parts of the world are not present in any abundance late postrift deltaic sediments in Kalimantan, on the other
here. However, the presence of marine biomarkers (e.g. hand, have excellent reservoir properties.
C30-steranes in some oils from Java and North Sumatra) Deep marine siliciclastics: Turbiditic sands have provided
indicate that the source rocks were deposited in a marine a focus for exploration in recent years, primarily in the
setting, even though the bulk of the organic material offshore Kutei–Mahakam Delta (Dunham and McKee,
represents transported land plant material. In the Maha- 2001). Drilling activity in the deepwater Makassar Straits
kam Delta, source rock facies have been identified recently has shown that reservoir quality sands were deposited in
in deep water turbidites where once again, the organic slope and basin floor settings (Dunham and McKee, 2001).
matter is predominantly of terrestrial origin (Dunham Sands deposited in channel–levee complexes across the
et al., 2001; Peters et al., 2000; Guritno et al., 2003; Saller slope and in unconfined submarine fans have successfully
et al., 2006). Away from deltaic depocenters it is likely that been targeted using 3D seismic. Study of the link between
marine shales of the early postrift interval, many of which the slope and the basin floor provides insights into sand
contain low percentages of disseminated terrestrial organic distribution and the location of potential reservoirs (Saller
material, have generated significant quantities of gas. In et al., 2004).
eastern Indonesia, oils of marine clastic, marly and Platform and reefal carbonates: These reservoirs, char-
carbonate affinities occur. These oils have geochemical acteristic of the more distal late synrift areas and postrift
characteristics typical of marine oils globally (Peters et al., stages, provide locally high porosity reservoirs (o38% in
1999) and are derived from either pre-Tertiary source rocks places). In general, the reefoid and back-reef facies have the
(e.g. onshore Seram), or from Miocene marine marls best reservoir characters, while platform carbonates have
(e.g. the Salawati Basin). more limited potential.
As was noted by Shaw and Packham (1992), the higher
than average heat flow experienced in several Tertiary 4.3. Seals
Indonesian basins plays an important role in raising the
hydrocarbon prospectivity of some of the shallower basins. Seals can also be closely related to basin stage and are
It is noticeable that many oils show a mixed lacustrine either intra-formational or more regionally developed.
and paralic geochemical signature (e.g. in South Sumatra). Interbedded deltaic seals: Intra-formational shale seals
These may arise from shallow lake margin facies or from are typical of deltaic sequences, where they commonly act
mixing of charge from two distinct source rocks during as top seals for interbedded sands or, in combination with
vertical migration. This mixing, plus the overall similarity faults, as side seals to fault closures (often contributing clay
of geochemical fingerprints, complicates the identification smear). Those of the late synrift were described in Kaldi
of a discrete source system for groups of geochemically and Atkinson (1997), who reviewed shale interbeds from
related oils, as proposed in the original definition of a the Talang Akar Formation of Northwest Java in terms of
petroleum system (Magoon and Dow, 1994). seal capacity, geometry and integrity. The main sealing
lithofacies, ranked in order of increasing seal capacity,
4.2. Reservoirs comprise delta plain, channel, prodelta and delta front
shales. These conclusions are probably equally applicable
Reservoir rocks are abundant throughout Indonesian to the deltaic sequences of the late postrift.
basins in a variety of sedimentary facies. As with source Thicker seal formations and regional seals: The marine
rocks, their development is closely related to depositional shales of the early postrift represent the only genuine
environment and basin evolution. regional seals of the Indonesian basins. They may act as
Non-marine siliciclastics: These characterize the early ultimate seals to the late synrift deltaic sediments or they
synrift section of proximal basins. They typically comprise may completely encase the carbonate build-ups of the early
fluvio-deltaic sands that are often thin, with a significant postrift.
content of lithic material and limited sorting. Porosities are
below 20% and permeabilities up to 100 mD and, in 4.4. Traps
general, the quality and development are highly variable.
Alluvial fans adjacent to basin bounding faults may A variety of trap types are present in Indonesian basins,
contain coarse clastics, but are poorly sorted and shale- depending on the location and tectonic history. The
out rapidly. greatest concentration of traps is to be found in the basins
Fluvio-deltaic to shallow marine siliciclastics: These facies adjacent to the Sumatra–Java arc, where extensive thrust
form the best clastic reservoirs of Indonesia, with porosities belts are developed, and in the continent margin sequences
up to 25% and often multi-Darcy permeabilities. Delta of eastern Kalimantan. Elsewhere, traps are located above
plain and coastal sands, derived from older cratonic areas, rift boundary faults that have been reactivated during
provide the best reservoirs. These typically occur within the inversion and in the extensive reefoid carbonate provinces
late synrift package. Late postrift sands of Sumatra and in distal parts of the foreland basins. The following trap
Java often have a significant lithic/arkosic component that types are commonly developed—they often define the plays
reduces the permeability. The cyclic regressive units of the that are present.
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Folded dip closures: NW–SE to W–E trending anticlinal Synsedimentary structures: In the Kutei and Tarakan
dip closures are abundant in Sumatra and Java basins basins growth-fault related structures, many of them
(which developed into foreland basins in the late postrift inverted by subsequent movements, are developed. Traps,
stage), where they may affect the entire syn- and usually in the hangingwall block, may be dip closed or fault
postrift sequences. They form elongate drag folds, are related. In the deeper water, toe-thrust anticlinal structures
frequently cross-faulted and are often bounded by reverse fall into this category.
faults or thrusts nucleated above synrift boundary faults Basement topography: A relatively small number of fields
(the so-called ‘‘Sunda folds’’). Many of these structures are found in basement high blocks, where the reservoir is
are related to wrench inversions of the synrift and frequently represented by fractured rocks the pre-rift
are located adjacent to graben boundary faults. At sequence. In other cases, onlap onto the basement surface
shallower levels, unfaulted drape closures may occur, appears to define the trap morphology.
especially where structural growth has been continuous, Reefoid carbonate structures: Carbonate reservoirs occur
or where structural detachment has taken place in postrift in anticlines, but trapping is often assisted by platform
shales. growth or reefoid relief. In most cases, these are of
Dip/fault closures: Many individual traps related to relatively low relief, but in the East Natuna and Salawati
anticlinal structures demonstrate fault/dip closure. Foot- basins, high relief pinnacle reefs are developed.
wall closures are especially common: they may be simple or Clastic stratigraphic traps: Sedimentary pinch-out often
complex, and are sometimes related to intrabasinal horst appears to contribute to trapping, but rarely is the main
blocks or structural noses. 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).
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structural noses in the deltaic sequences of the late syn- water sandy facies (Belumai Fm) are present in the
and postrift section. Deep water plays of the Mahakam south.
Delta may also have a component of stratigraphic Late Postrift (Middle Miocene to Pliocene): This
trapping, particularly in ponded mini-basins in intra-slope regressive sequence comprises the argillaceous Baong
environments. Fm (in which turbidite sands occur) and the overlying
paralic shales, silts and sands of the Keutapang and
5. Summary of Indonesian petroleum basin geology Seurula formations. In the north, deeper marine facies
continued, while towards the southeast, these forma-
In this section, we summarize the stratigraphic and tions became shallower with the deposition of regressive
structural development of the various productive basins of deltaic sands of moderate to good reservoir quality.
Indonesia, and relate them to the petroleum system
framework presented above (Figs. 4 and 5). It should be Tectonic development in the basin is subdued. Following
noted that many of these are composite basins, comprising the Palaeogene rift formation, a Late Oligocene local
a number of separate synrift grabens overlain by a blanket unconformity and a Mid Miocene regional unconformity
of postrift deposits. In many cases, the facies vary are recorded, while the deltaic sequence in the southeast
considerably across the various provinces, depending on was folded during successive wrench phases in the Middle
the proximity to or distance from the contemporary open Miocene to Pliocene.
ocean (in the synrift) and to zones of active deformation
(in the postrift).
Note that in ascribing reservoir levels to petroleum 5.1.1. Petroleum systems
system types and basin stages, we have included PST 3 Two major systems are recognized:
basal carbonates within PST 2 in those areas where, The Bampo–Peutu (!) petroleum system (Buck and
because there is no regional seal between them, they McCulloh, 1994) is present in the north. It is sourced from
essentially form one combined group of reservoirs. the deep marine Bampo Formation, with a possible
Examples of this include areas where the Batu Raja secondary contribution from the Miocene Peutu Forma-
Formation directly overlies the Talang Akar Formation tion. The main reservoir/traps are carbonate build-ups of
in the South Sumatra Basin. Unless stated, we have the Peutu (or Arun) Formation, with minor contribution
followed the petroleum systems classification as defined from the equivalent sandy Belumai Formation and base-
by Howes and Tisnawijaya (1995). ment. Fifteen trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas and 1 billion
barrels (bbl) of condensate, respectively, have been located
5.1. North Sumatra Basin in 10 fields, dominated by the Arun field with almost 14 tcf
of gas. This system comprises a late synrift source of early
The North Sumatra Basin comprises a series of north– postrift affinity and early postrift reservoir and traps.
south trending ridges and grabens formed in Early The Baong–Keutapang (!) petroleum system, located in
Oligocene time (Fig. 6). Almost the entire basin fill is the southeast, is more oil-prone and contains many of the
marine, much of it, especially in the north, comprising shallow fields that produced the first reserves in Indonesia.
basinal deeper marine claystones, shales and shallow water Charge is thought to be derived from marine/deltaic coaly
reefoid limestones, the latter developed on structural highs. source rocks of the Baong Formation, but re-migration
Regressive shallow water deltaic facies are found in the from deeper reservoirs may also contribute. Reservoirs
southeast. The sequence is predominantly argillaceous and occur in the rather ill-sorted sandy deltaic facies of the late
the division into four-basin stages is somewhat arbitrary. postrift Keutapang and Seurula formations, representing
cyclic regressive phases. About 75% of the fields produce
Early Synrift (Early Oligocene): Coarse-grained con- or produced both oil and gas, and all hydrocarbons are
glomerates and bioclastic limestones are recorded at the characterized by API gravities of over 40. Traps are mainly
bases of the graben fills and on their adjacent highs. dip closures related to NW–SE trending folds, and most
Late Synrift (Late Oligocene): This comprises thick, are faulted to some extent (only a few are clearly related to
deep marine claystones, mudstones and dark shales of thrusts). Stratigraphic pinch-outs appear to contribute to
the Bampo Formation. These represent the main source trapping in some cases, but in only one field (Peudawa)
rock for the gas in the northern part of the basin: does the trap appear to be primarily stratigraphic.
although lean ( 1% TOC, type III), they are very thick Howes and Tisnawijaya (1995) distinguished a potential
and may reach high maturities. third petroleum system in the basin, the Miocene–Belumai
Early Postrift (Early to Middle Miocene): This se- ( ) petroleum system to which a few fields in the far south
quence, corresponding to the Peutu Formation, com- of the basin (e.g. Wampu) may belong.
prises thick basinal deeper marine shales and marls, with Creaming curves for oil/condensate and gas (Howes and
extensive reefoid carbonate buildups developed on Tisnawijaya, 1995) demonstrate that North Sumatra is a
structural highs. The latter form excellent reservoirs, highly mature province that has been explored with
with porosities averaging 16% in the Arun field. Deep moderate efficiency.
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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).
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Fig. 6. North Sumatra Basin—simplified location and structure map

showing depocenters and oil/gas fields classified according to the basin
stage in which they occur.

Fig. 7. Central Sumatra Basin—simplified location and structure map

5.2. Central Sumatra Basin showing synrift basins (inferred to be areas of hydrocarbon generation)
and oil/gas fields classified according to the basin stage of the reservoir in
The Central Sumatra Basin comprises a number of which they occur. Oil families (1–4) and typical trap types described by
separate synrift grabens below a postrift sequence (Williams characteristic fields are from Williams and Eubank (1995).
and Eubank, 1995). Most of the many hydrocarbon
accumulations present lie directly above or adjacent
to the synrift grabens, a consequence of the relatively with thin sands (Brown Shale Formation), and shallow
shallow burial and immaturity of the postrift sequence lake light grey shales with humic coals ensure that
(Fig. 7). charge from the early synrift is mixed lacustrine and
The five productive grabens (Bengkalis, Aman, Balam, terrestrial, mainly type I/II, within which four oil
Tanjung Medan and Kiri/Rangau) contain similar strati- families have been distinguished (Katz, 1995). The best
graphic successions with relatively proximal facies associa- reservoirs are found in fluvio-deltaic sands, where
tions (Williams and Eubank, 1995). They were formed porosities and permeabilities may be up to 17% and
along pre-Tertiary structural trends (north–south and 100 mD, respectively.
WNW–ESE) and originated as half-grabens in an oblique Late Synrift–Early Postrift (Late Oligocene to Early
extension stress regime. The four-stage basin history can be Miocene): This sequence, equivalent to much of the
recognized, as follows: Sihapas Group, includes several paralic facies that
record a gradual transgression: The Menggala Forma-
Early Synrift (Late Eocene to Oligocene): Pematang and tion is still fluvial, but is overlain by shallow marine
Kelesa formations. These consist of an association of sandy (Bekasap Formation) and argillaceous (Bangko
alluvial, shallow to deep lacustrine and fluvio-deltaic Formation) facies, the latter forming a regional seal.
facies represented by laminated shales, silts and sands The Menggala and Bekasap formations contain the best
with coals and conglomeratic intervals. Deep lake reservoirs of the basin, with porosities of the order of
organic rich shales containing algal/amorphous material 25% and permeabilities of up to four Darcies.
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Early Postrift (Early to Middle Miocene): This includes 20 accumulations), Pematang–Sihapas (approximately 90
the distal marine facies of the Sihapas Group, which accumulations) and Pematang–Duri (approximately 23
records the final stages of transgression (Duri Forma- accumulations).
tion delta front sands and shales) followed by the period The following trap types can be recognized in the IPA
of maximum Tertiary flooding (Telisa Formation shales Atlas (Indonesian Petroleum Association, 1991a, b) listing
and silts). of just over 100 fields: (1) dip closures related to simple
Late Postrift (Middle Miocene to Quaternary): This stage folds and drape (59 accumulations), thrusts (44 accumula-
represents the Late Tertiary sedimentary fill of the basin, tions) and wrench faults (7 accumulations), affecting both
and includes regressive deltaic and alluvial sediments syn- and postrift sequences, (2) fault-dip, mainly footwall
interrupted by several unconformities. Only the deepest closures (22 accumulations), and (3) basement topography
part of this sequence (Petani Formation with marine (2 accumulations only). In 12 accumulations, stratigraphic
shales, sands and coals) has significance for petroleum pinch-outs appear to contribute to trapping. There appear,
accumulation. however, to be no fields in which the trapping is primarily
Three phases of geodynamic development are recognized: Williams and Eubank (1995) noted that most of the
oilfields are concentrated in drape structures over basement
An Eocene–Oligocene extensional phase with four palaeo-highs and along the eastern flanks of the half
sub phases as indicated here (Williams and Eubank, graben rifts updip of the basin centre source rocks, while
1995), leading to formation of the synrift grabens and others are developed in drag and inversion folds (‘‘Sunda
early deformation of the sedimentary fill (Shaw et al., folds’’) adjacent to the basin boundary faults. Repeated
1997). The first three sub-phases correspond to the phases of structural movement are evident from variations
early synrift period, while phase 4 belongs to the late in the thickness of the sequence.
synrift. In total about 25 billion barrels STOIIP have been
1. Early Eocene: N–S and NW–SE shearing and located in the basin, of which 8 and 4 billion barrels are
formation of isolated rifts and half grabens, with located in the Minas and Duri fields, respectively. The
the major boundary faults on the western flanks. Minas field is the largest in SE Asia. Noticeable is the lack
2. Middle Eocene: rapid subsidence. of gas, illustrative of the dominance of the highly oil-prone
3. Oligocene: continued subsidence and episodic dextral lacustrine charge of Petroleum System 1 (Schiefelbein
wrenching. and Cameron, 1997). The creaming curve (Howes and
4. Late Oligocene–Early Miocene: waning subsidence Tisnawijaya, 1995) is indicative of efficient exploration and
accompanied by uplift. a very mature province.
An Early–Middle Miocene phase of uplift and gentle
folding accompanied by wrench faulting along a 5.3. South Sumatra Basin
NW–SE (Barisan) trend. This period follows the early
postrift. It was responsible for the formation of most of The South Sumatra Basin also comprises a series of
the structural traps, such as the forced drapes over the semi-connected NNW–SSE trending synrift basins
basin margin faults. with a common postrift sequence (Bishop, 2000a). Two
Movement continued up to the Plio-Pleistocene in the main rift provinces are recognized, both of which
form of NW–SE dextral wrench faulting, corresponding contain hydrocarbon fields. The smaller and more prox-
to the final stage of postrift development. imal of the two is Jambi, whereas the larger and deeper is
situated in the Palembang area. Most of the oil and
5.2.1. Petroleum systems gas fields are concentrated along thrust and fold trends
In the Central Sumatra Basin almost all of the above or close to the areas of active mature source rocks
hydrocarbons appear to have been derived from lacustrine (Fig. 8).
to terrestrial source rocks of the early synrift stage, possibly
with some contribution from coals of the late synrift. Four Early Synrift (Eocene to Early Oligocene): This
families of oils are recognized (Williams and Eubank, comprises the continental Lahat and Lematang forma-
1995), essentially related to variations in the synrift source tions. These are separated by an unconformity, indicat-
facies (Fig. 7). Potential source beds in the postrift are ing that at least two phases of rift formation were
immature. involved. Facies include alluvial, lacustrine and brack-
Reservoir levels occur throughout the sequence, ish-water sediments represented by tuffaceous sands,
although the bulk of the fields are found at multiple levels conglomerates and claystones. In places the sequence
below regional seals in the early postrift (Bangko and may be over 1 km thick. The Lahat Formation contains
Telisa formations). We can thus recognize a single, though both source and reservoir rocks, both very variable in
complex, petroleum system, called the Pematang–Sihapas character and quality (Williams et al., 1995).
(!) system as defined by Howes and Tisnawijaya (1995) with Late Synrift (Late Oligocene to Early Miocene): The
three subdivisions: Pematang–Pematang (approximately main part of this sequence comprises a retro-regressive
114 H. H.
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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) filled 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 WNW–ESE
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 Lahat–Talang 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
Fig. 8. South Sumatra Basin—simplified location and structure map be distinguished (Fig. 8). In the absence of more precise
showing inferred areas of active hydrocarbon generation, and oil/gas fields geochemical typing, we cannot clearly ascribe each of these
classified according to the basin stage in which the main reservoir occurs.
The location of potential petroleum sub-systems are indicated (1–4).
to an individual petroleum system; however, the primary
Significant fields (410 million barrels) are numbered. 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
deltaic section belonging to the Talang Akar Formation, subsystems.
by far the most important reservoir in the basin and
strongly time transgressive. Sediments were derived 1. Mainly developed in the Jambi and Merangan sub-
from the northeast and the facies deepen south- basins, contains oil and gas accumulations in the late
westwards from fluvial to basinal. Reservoirs include postrift sequence. Assuming that charge is derived from
delta plain to marine sands, silts and shales. Many of the deltaic source rocks, this petroleum system may be
sands are quartzose (derived from the Sunda shelf) and referred to as the Talang Akar/Palembang–Palembang
are of good quality with porosities of up to 25%. Coals (.) PS.
and coaly shales of the Talang Akar Formation 2. Located in the Jambi sub-basin, comprises a single gas
represent important type II and III source rocks. field (Grissik) located in early postrift reservoirs. This
Early Postrift (Early to Middle Miocene): During this field could also be sourced from the early postrift section
transgressive marine period, platform and build-up and, if so, could represent a hypothetical Gumai–Gumai
carbonates of the Batu Raja Formation accumulated (?) PS.
above the rift shoulders, while deeper marine shales 3. Located in the Palembang area, contains nearly all of
(Gumai or Telisa Formation) were deposited above the the larger oil and gas fields in the basin and is developed
synrift grabens. Bathyal environments lay to the south- in the late synrift Talang Akar and early postrift Batu
west, where the sequence is very thick (over 2 km). The Raja formations. This is the Lahat/Talang Akar–Talang
Batu Raja is in an important reservoir, with porosities of Akar (!) PS.
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103–129 115

4. In the Muara Enim area (close to the mountain front),

contains a number of smaller oil fields. This represents
the same type of petroleum system as 1 (above),
although the fact that almost all the fields produce oil
only suggests that they may be either charged from a
separate source area, or that maturity and retention
define 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 WNW–ESE fold trends cross N–S—trending rift
boundary fault trends. Several fields 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 Fig. 9. Natuna Sea basins—simplified location and structure map
sequence comprises fluvio-deltaic to fluvial and alluvial showing inferred areas of active hydrocarbon generation and oil/gas fields
sands of the Lama Formation overlain by shallow classified according to the basin stage in which they occur.
lacustrine shales of the Benua Formation, which locally
form rich oil and gas source rocks. Above these lie to Oligocene extension phases were responsible for forma-
fluvio-deltaic sands and shales of the Lower Gabus Fm. tion of the rifts throughout the area, while Early to Middle
Late Synrift (Late Oligocene to Early Miocene): Deposition Miocene NE–SW and NW–SE wrench movements record-
of lacustrine to fluvio-deltaic sediments of the Keras and ing complex plate readjustments affected west Natuna,
Upper Gabus formations continued during this period. producing basin margin inversions. In east Natuna, open-
Early Postrift (Early to Middle Miocene): This period ing of the South China Sea continued until late in the
was marked by a marine transgression and is repre- Tertiary and there is little evidence for compressional
sented by shales of the Barat and Arang formations. In movements. Local to regional unconformities are present
western Natuna, the former are non-marine with coals, at the end of the early synrift and during the early postrift
while in eastern Natuna they are open marine. Condi- periods.
tions on structural highs were favourable for the
later development of platform and reefoid carbonates 5.4.1. Petroleum systems
(Terumbu Formation). In West Natuna many hydrocarbon fields are associated
Late Postrift (Late Miocene to Quaternary): During this with Sunda-type inversion folds formed in the Miocene
period conditions remained shallow marine, partially adjacent to the main boundary faults of a number of the
restricted, and claystones of the Muda Formation were rift basins. These dip-closed anticlinal structures are
deposited. Minor developments of deltaic sands are sometimes associated with thrusts and are often faulted.
recorded locally. The charge is derived from synrift lacustrine shales and the
main reservoirs comprise paralic to marine sands of the
The tectonic history of the Natuna basins is complex, Gabus Formation. Keras and Barat shales form efficient
being significantly different from west to east. Late Eocene regional seals. Most of the fields are shallow (maximum
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103–129 116

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 fields. This is due to the fact that traps
are largely limited to complex wrench-reactivated bound-
ary fault zones with NE–SW or NW–SE orientations.
Along such fault trends, several small fault-dependant
fields may be clustered. This petroleum system is known as
the Benua–Gabus (!) PS.
One large, as yet non-productive gas field, ‘‘D-Alpha’’ is
present in a large carbonate buildup in eastern Natuna
(May and Eyles, 1985). The gas contains a high percentage
of CO2, 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 Tertiary–Terumbu (.) PS.
The creaming curves for Natuna presented by Howes
and Tisnawijaya (1995) show no signs of creaming.
However, the number of fields is too small to provide
reliable statistics. The complex geology and continuous
tectonics have led to significant issues related to the timing
of migration versus trap formation. Re-migration may be
common, and this is probably reflected in the apparently
poor finding efficiency.

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 fields and structural elements Fig. 10. NW Java, Sunda and Asri basins—simplified location and
are shown in Fig. 10. The stratigraphic nomenclature is structure map showing inferred areas of hydrocarbon generation and oil/
similar to that of South Sumatra. gas fields classified according to the basin stage in which the main reservoir
is developed.

Early Synrift (Early Oligocene): This is represented by

the Banuwati Formation, an excellent lacustrine deep The tectonics of these isolated basins is highly subdued
water type I source rock with TOC of up to 8% and a compared to other Sumatran basins. The evolution
hydrogen index (HI) of up to 650 mg/g. A basal includes pre- to Early Oligocene rift formation resulting
marginal alluvial sandy/conglomeratic facies, without in half grabens along en-echelon faults, followed by synrift
source potential, also occurs. subsidence and a quiet postrift stage with limited wrench
Late Synrift (Late Oligocene to Early Miocene): This reactivation.
stage commences with fluvio-deltaic sediments of the
Talang Akar Formation, and continues with Batu Raja 5.5.1. Petroleum systems
carbonates, as in South Sumatra. Both form excellent The Banuwati–Talang Akar (!) PS. Howes and Tisnawi-
reservoirs. A coaly-shale potential source horizon is also jaya (1995) called this the Banuwati–Batu Raja PS. It
present, but although rich, is immature at this level. includes all of the hydrocarbons trapped in the Sunda
Intraformational shale seals are found in the upper part Basin. Deltaic sands of the Talang Akar Formation as well
of the sequence (upper Gita member). as onlapping platform carbonates and reefs of the over-
Early Postrift (Middle Miocene): Transgressive marine lying Batu Raja Formation form important reservoirs,
shales of the Air Benakat Formation form excellent often in combination. The fields are concentrated on inter-
seals for the underlying reservoirs. basinal highs and horsts and in footwall closures along
Late Postrift (Late Miocene to Quaternary): This faulted noses on the gentle basin flank. A total of about 950
regressive sequence (Cisubuh Formation) culminates in millionboe (barrels of oil-equivalent) has been discovered,
deltaic sediments with coals, but lies too shallow to of which 90% is oil. According to Bishop (2000b) 75% of
contribute to hydrocarbon generation. reserves are located in the Talang Akar Formation.
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103–129 117

In the Asri Basin, the same elements of the petroleum Cisubuh formations reflect a reduction in subsidence
system occur, but all accumulations are in Talang Akar and the onset of inversion movements linked to Pliocene
sands as the Batu Raja reservoir is absent. Approximately folding in the south.
500 millionboe has been discovered in nine fields, mainly
in faulted anticlines on the half-graben dip flank. In The tectonic history of the area (Gresko et al., 1995) can
the Widuri Field, trapping is assisted by stratigraphic be traced back to the earliest Tertiary, when cooling
pinch-out (Carter, 2003). followed metamorphism of the basement rocks. Rifting
Sukanto et al. (1998) proposed that oil-saturated sands related to dextral wrenching followed in the Eocene
in the early synrift indicate that a second PS is present in (50–40 Ma), while Middle to Late Miocene collision events
the Asri Basin. They referred to this as the Banuwati– (dated 17–5 Ma) led to repeated local inversions along the
Harriet (.) PS. However, there is as yet no commercial onshore trend.
production from it.
The creaming curves of these two basins are different. 5.6.1. Petroleum systems
Although the Sunda curve suggests relatively efficient Howes and Tisnawijaya (1995) recognized two primary
exploration, the 1988 discovery of the Widuri field petroleum systems in the area. The dominant one is the
confirmed the prospectivity of the Asri Basin at a very Talang Akar–Main/Massive (!) PS, and is characteristic of
late stage. Short and abundant migration paths from the the offshore Arjuna Basin. Charge is derived from the late
basin centres leading to accumulations in the best synrift Talang Akar coals and coaly shales, while most of
reservoirs (Talang Akar and Batu Raja) on the basin the accumulations are located in Cibulakan sandstones of
flanks contribute to the efficiency of the system, as does the the early postrift (‘‘Massive’’ and ‘‘Main’’). Although
presence of a widespread claystone seal. multiple reservoirs are represented, only few fields are
found in early and late synrift or late postrift reservoirs.
5.6. Northwest Java The second petroleum system proposed by Howes and
Tisnawijaya (1995) is represented by the early synrift
The Northwest Java Basin (Fig. 10) lies both on and Jatibarang interval, located in the onshore, and which
offshore and comprises two main half graben-defined includes the Jatibarang Field, the only accumulation to
depocentres: the rich offshore Ardjuna Basin towards the have been located in this highly faulted tuffaceous
west and the onshore Jatibarang Basin in the southeast reservoir. However, a more detailed study of Northwest
(Noble et al., 1997). The onshore and nearshore areas Java by Noble et al. (1997) indicated that the Talang Akar
contain clastic wedges derived from the Java hinterland in source system was overwhelmingly the major contributor
the postrift, while the more distal offshore areas remained of oil and gas in all of the sub-basins, including the onshore
dominated by carbonates. region. Seven primary depocenters were recognized which,
based on geochemical data, showed strong oil-source
Early Synrift (Late Eocene to Early Oligocene): This correlations with Talang Akar coals and carbonaceous
comprises tuffs and minor interbedded lacustrine shales shales. Facies variations within the Talang Akar source
of the Jatibarang Formation. Volcaniclastics provide the rocks were noted, ranging from fluviodeltaic to marginal
reservoir facies for some onshore Java fields, whereas marine. In contrast to other Sunda-style basins in the Java–
the source rock appears to have a significant deltaic Sumatra region, no evidence was found to support major
component, indicative of major contributions from the charge from the lacustrine synrift sequence.
overlying Talang Akar Formation. Of the traps described in the IPA Field Atlas volume IV
Late Synrift (Late Oligocene to Early Miocene): As in (Indonesian Petroleum Association, 1989a, b), at least half
South Sumatra, this sequence comprises a transgressive are formed by anticlines, many of them highly faulted.
sequence of fluvio-deltaic, coastal and shallow marine Fault-dependant closures, mainly footwalls are also
sands, shales and coals (Talang Akar Formation), common, while a few fields are trapped in reefoid
followed by platform and reefoid carbonates (Batu carbonate mounds. As in other basins, stratigraphic
Raja Formation), both of which are productive. trapping plays a minor contributory role only.
Early Postrift (Early to Middle Miocene): In contrast to the A separate petroleum system, referred to as the Biogenic–
basins further to the west, parts of the Java basins remained Parigi (.) petroleum system, has been proposed to cover
in an open to distal marine carbonate environment longer. shallow biogenic gas accumulations in carbonates of the
This makes it difficult to distinguish early from late postrift late postrift. The charge for accumulations within this
stages. While a number of regressive clastic deltaic phases system comes from biogenic conversion of organic matter
are recognized onshore and nearshore in the Cibulakan at shallow depth, while reservoirs comprise north– south
Formation, much of the area is characterized by shelf trending porous bioherms in the southern part of the NW
marine sands (‘‘Massive’’ and ‘‘Main’’) that are important Java offshore (e.g. APN field).
reservoirs in offshore northwest Java. The Arjuna Basin, as in many offshore provinces, shows
Late Postrift (Late Miocene to Quaternary): Platform high exploration efficiency for oil and suggests that little
carbonates and regressive clastics of the Parigi and remains to be found. For gas, the curve suggests that as yet,
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creaming has not been achieved. The Jatibarang sub-basin Late Synrift (Late Oligocene to Early Miocene): This
curve is typical of complex situations where one, probably sedimentary unit is dominated by platform and reefoid
stratigraphically assisted trap, dominates the basin. carbonates of the Kujung and Prupuh formations with,
at the base, marine shales (with thin sands) indicating
5.7. Northeast Java that this basin lay close to the continent margin at this
The East Java Basin area comprises a complex of Early Postrift (Early to Late Miocene): At the beginning
NE–SW trending troughs, separated by ridges and arches of this period, the carbonate platforms were drowned
(Fig. 11). Several of these basins contain hydrocarbon and extensive deeper marine clastics (Tuban and
accumulations while several others represent, as yet, Woncolo Formation shales and Ngrayong Formation
frontier provinces. As in West Java, there are significant sands) were deposited. Locally, carbonates persisted and
differences between the clastic dominated onshore basins in volcaniclastics are present.
the southwest and the carbonate-dominated areas below Late Postrift (Late Miocene to Quaternary): Local
the East Java Sea. tectonics and widespread active volcanism dominated
this period, so that a variety of sequences is developed,
Early Synrift (Late Eocene to Early Oligocene): This is including marine clays, volcaniclastics, carbonates and
represented by the Ngimbang Formation, in which a sands, deposited in a variety of shallow to deeper water
basal lacustrine to paralic sequence with source rocks is environments.
rapidly succeeded by open marine shales with sands and
carbonates. 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 E–W 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. Ngimbang–OK Ngrayong (.) PS in the Cepu area of East

2. Ngimbang–Ngimbang (!) PS in the Kangean area
offshore area north of Bali;
3. Ngimbang–Kujung (!) PS in the Cepu amd Madura
4. Tertiary–Miocene (.) PS in the Muriah Basin—this is
largely a biogenic gas system; and
5. Tertiary–Pliocene (!) 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
Fig. 11. East Java Basin—simplified location and structure map showing
inferred areas of hydrocarbon generation and oil/gas fields classified dimensions and now are shut-in or abandoned. A few fields
according to the basin stage in which the main reservoir occurs. occur in reef limestone of the late synrift, while some others
119 H. H.
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are found in calcareous and volcanic sands of the late

The three petroleum systems of greatest commercial
significance at the present time are the Ngimbang–Kujung
(!), Ngimbang–Ngimbang (!) and Tertiary–Pliocene (!). The
Ngimbang–Kujung 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 fluvio-deltaic coaly source rocks,
which have also sourced oil accumulations (e.g. JS53).
Biogenic gas fields from the Tertiary–Pliocene system, such
as Terang–Sirasun (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
fields were discovered. Following a long period without
success, the move offshore in the late 1970s has resulted in
a significant rejuvenation of oil discoveries and spectacular
success in locating large gas fields. 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
Fig. 12. East Kalimantan, Barito and Kutei–Mahakam basins—simplified
late Oligocene in age. The bulk of the synrift sequence location and structure map showing Barito Basin depocenter, Mahakam
belongs to cycles of the Tanjung Group. Delta field trends and oil/gas fields classified according to the basin stage
in which they occur.
Early Synrift (Paleocene to Early Eocene): In at least five
rift basins, alluvial to lacustrine sediments, with good
source rock potential accumulated. horsts and grabens in the Barito Basin. In the Late
Late Synrift (Middle to Late Eocene): During this Tertiary, continuous compression and uplift of the
period, retroregressive fluvio-deltaic sediments with Meratus mountains led to the sinistral reactivation of the
coals, followed by marine shales with carbonates were graben boundary faults (Satyana et al., 1999).
Early Postrift (Oligocene to Early Miocene): During this
period, stable marine conditions prevailed and shallow 5.8.1. Petroleum systems
marine carbonates of the Berai Formation covered Tanjung–Tanjung (!) petroleum system: the few fields in
much of the area. A minor regressive phase is recorded the basin produce oil (with API gravities of 30–401) and gas
in the Late Oligocene. and are probably sourced from either highly mature
Late Postrift (Middle Miocene to Quaternary): Uplifts Tanjung Formation source rocks or a mixture of early
led to the development of regressive deltaic conditions and late synrift lacustrine and deltaic source rocks.
and the carbonates were drowned by regressive clastics In this complexly deformed basin, hydrocarbons are
of the Warukin and Dahor formations. trapped in prerift to postrift reservoir levels (basement
and Eocene to Miocene sands) in thrusted and highly
Early Tertiary rifting along NW–SE trends followed faulted anticlinal structures. At least half of the hydro-
Late Jurassic to Cretaceous emplacement of the Meratus carbons are located in one field (Tanjung, discovered in
ophiolitic complex along the southeast margin of Sunda- 1937) and the creaming curve (Howes and Tisnawijaya,
land (Hutchinson, 1996), and led to the development of 1995) reflects this.
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5.9. Kutei–Mahakam Delta Basin 5.9.1. Petroleum systems

In this basin, a number of petroleum systems can be
The Kutei–Mahakam Delta Basin is the largest basin in recognized, each with associated sub-systems:
Indonesia (165,000 km2) and one of its richest hydrocarbon
provinces with several giant fields (Fig. 12). It has a 1. In the onshore Kutei Basin, largely comprising inverted
complex history (Moss et al., 1997), and is one of the only synrift sequences where as yet few hydrocarbons have
Indonesian basins to have evolved from a rifted internal been located, Howes and Tisnawijaya (1995) suggested
fracture/foreland basin into a marginal-sag. Much of the that an early synrift to early postrift petroleum system,
early basin fill in the Kutei Basin has been inverted and the Tanjung–Berai (.) PS may be developed. However, it
exposed (Satyana et al., 1999), and the late postrift remains speculative.
Mahakam Delta dominates the prospectivity. The latter 2. The onshore to offshore Mahakam Delta, which
also contains a deepwater continental margin play rare in includes the majority of prospective sequences, belongs
other Indonesian basins. to a thick, late postrift continental margin stage of
development. In this rich oil and gas province, almost all
Early Synrift (Paleocene to Early Eocene): Sediments of this of the hydrocarbons are sourced from and trapped in
stage comprise alluvial sediments filling in the topography reservoirs of the late postrift stage. Accordingly, the
of NE–SW and NNE–SSW trending rifts in the onshore deltaic Balikpapan–Balikpapan (!) PS is overwhelmingly
Kutei Basin. They overlie a basement comprising late the dominant one in this area. Reservoir sands,
Cretaceous to early Tertiary deep marine sequences. belonging to a series of stacked regressive deltaic
Late Synrift (Middle to Late Eocene): During this progradational sequences range in age from Middle
period, a major transgression took place in the Kutei Miocene to Pleistocene (Balikpapan to Kampung Baru
Basin, partly related to rifting in the Makassar Strait, formations), and most accumulations occur at several
and bathyal shales with thin sands accumulated. levels, separated by intraformational sealing shales
Early Postrift (Oligocene to Early Miocene): During this representing maximum flooding surfaces. As in other
period, bathyal conditions continued to dominate and Tertiary deltas, a range of trap types is represented,
several thousand meters of predominantly shales accu- including:
mulated. On structurally shallow areas open marine (a) Hangingwall anticlinal rollovers associated with
carbonate platforms were developed. growth faults, many cut by synthetic and antithetic
Late Postrift (Middle Miocene to Quaternary): From faults to form ‘‘collapsed crest’’ structures. Trap-
Middle Miocene onwards a major passive margin deltaic ping of individual stacked accumulations is partly-
sequence prograded into the deep water Makassar Strait, fault dependant (i.e. in footwall or hanging wall
forming the Mahakam Delta sequence, the primary blocks). The structures are frequently dome-shaped
hydrocarbon-bearing portion of the basin. A variety of or oval in shape and occur mainly in nearshore and
on- and offshore deltaic depositional environments are shallow offshore areas.
developed in the Balikpapan and Kampung Baru forma- (b) Elongated inverted anticlinal deltaic rollover struc-
tions, including deeper water slope and basin floor facies. tures with a NNE–SSW trend, related to thrusts and
Excellent source and reservoir rocks are present, with reverse faults, often on both flanks. These occur
interbedded sealing shales. During this period, erosion primarily in the onshore part of the delta and
reworked large parts of the Kutei synrift sequence. contain many of the larger fields. Characteristic of
many fields are cross faults that divide the
The tectonic history may be summarized as follows: accumulations into separate units. McClay et al.
Following deformation of the late Cretaceous to earliest (2000) demonstrated that many of these structures
Tertiary basement, extension and rifting associated with originate from inversion of growth-faulted struc-
opening of the Makassar Straits continued through to the tures above a ductile substrate.
end of the Eocene. Oligocene subsidence and sag were (c) Stratigraphic traps related to deltaic sand bodies
followed by inversion of the early Kutei Basin fill along its encased in shales. In many cases stratigraphic
initial boundary faults in the early Miocene, resulting in the changes contribute to trapping only, for instance
erosion of several thousand meters of the synrift sequence where deltaic channels are draped over anticlinal
(Satyana et al., 1999). This in turn led to a major deltaic trends, but in a few cases sand pinch-out appears to
progradation over the continent margin to the east (to define the trap (e.g. in the Bongkaran and Tambora
form the Mahakam Delta sequence). Continental collisions fields), while a hydrodynamic effect can sometimes
in the area are thought to have been responsible for be identified.
younger inversions affecting the early Miocene sequence.
Within the shelf Mahakam Delta sequence, the dominant Duval et al. (1998) summarized some of the most
trap-forming mechanism comprises syn-sedimentary important parameters that impact hydrocarbon pro-
growth faulting. The slope to basin floor section is chara- spectivity. They indicated that the main charge for fields
cterized by toe-thrust structures. in the Tambora and Tunu trends is derived from thick
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deltaic coals and coaly shales in the intervening syncline, on the other hand, which is characterized by a series of
with minor contributions from a marine and leaner steps reflecting major discoveries, shows little evidence for
source rock in the offshore trend between the Tunu and creaming. Such a ‘‘relatively efficient’’ creaming curve is
Sisi fields. They noted that efficient short migration typical for deltaic areas in which there is a gradual seaward
paths up to 15 km in length lead from these charge shift in exploration as new technologies become available.
kitchens into adjacent structures. They noted a gradual
transition from oil, in more proximal anticlinal fields 5.10. Tarakan Basin
(Tambora, Handil) to gas/condensate rich fields in more
distal trends, where source rocks are leaner, and thicker The Tarakan Basin has a similar development to the
shale packages restrict migration of heavier hydrocar- Kutei–Mahakam Basin (Lentini and Darman, 1996), which
bons. These observations relate to the shallow progra- it resembles in many ways (Fig. 13). It comprises four sub-
dational deltaic sequences.A number of anticlinal basins, two onshore (the Tidung and Berau synrift basins—
structures contain oil and gas fields in early Miocene mainly Late Eocene to Middle Miocene), and two offshore
regressive sands, for instance in the Wailawi field. These (the Belungan–Tarakan and Muara postrift basins with
deltaic sands, with interbedded shales and coals (Klinjau mainly younger fill). As in the Kutei–Mahakam Basin,
Formation) were deposited during the period of maxi- hydrocarbons have been located in the late postrift stage
mum transgression when carbonate facies were exten- only.
sively developed in the Kutei/Makakam area. They
provide evidence for the local strength of the deltaic
Early Synrift (Middle Eocene): This sequence is domi-
system and suggest that an early postrift petroleum
nated by volcanics and volcaniclastics of the Sembakang
system exists in places. This can be referred to as the
Formation. It is highly tectonized.
Klinjau–Klinjau (.) PS.
3. Recently, the focus of exploration has moved into the
deeper water portions of the delta, where fields are being
discovered in turbidite reservoirs deposited in slope
channel and basin floor systems. The discoveries belong
to a new petroleum system called the Miocene–Mio/
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
flows (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 confined amalgamated
channel–levee complexes (e.g. Merah Besar and West
Seno discoveries), and as unconfined 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 field, discovered by Unocal in the late
1990s, is Indonesia’s first deepwater development, the
first barrel of oil being produced in mid-2003.

The Kutei–Mahakam 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 significant new reserves
Fig. 13. Tarakan Basin—simplified location and structure map showing
are identified in the deep water, only small incremental inferred areas of active hydrocarbon generation and Late Postrift oil/gas
accumulations can be expected in the future. The gas curve, field trends.
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Late Synrift (Late Eocene): This comprises fluvio-deltaic the Tertiary synrift to postrift basin development cannot be
to shallow marine shales, marking a rapid transgressive readily applied to the petroleum habitat.
phase. The Bula Basin in Seram overlies and is partly
Early Postrift (Oligocene to Early Miocene): This period incorporated in a fold/thrust and zone formed where the
is dominated by open marine carbonate platform outer margin of Australian continental shelf collided
development on shallow blocks, with deeper marine with Irian Jaya in the mid-Tertairy (Hutchinson, 1996).
environments represented by shales and marls in the The bulk of the sequence is composed of a variety of
intervening depressions. Local late Oligocene uplift can Mesozoic to Middle Tertiary open marine pelagic and
be linked to a minor clastic progradation from the west. oceanic deposits, including clays, limestones and thin
Late Postrift (Middle Miocene to Quaternary): This sands. The first oil discoveries, which were made by the
forms the main hydrocarbon-bearing sequence and is Dutch in the early 1900s, focussed on Pliocene to
composed of a number of regressive progradations of Pleistocene marginal marine sands and limestones. More
interbedded fluvio-deltaic sands, shales and coals. recent discoveries in the complex fold and thrust
NE–SW trending growth faults intersect with four belt successfully located oil in fractured Jurassic lime-
NW–SE trending fold trends. To the south and north stones (e.g. Oseil Field; Charlton, 2004). Geochemical
of the deltaic depocenters, carbonates continued to studies (Peters et al., 1999) demonstrate that the oil is
accumulate. derived from Triassic–Jurassic marine carbonate type II
source rocks.
Eocene rifting was followed by a generally quiescent Two hydrocarbon-bearing late Tertiary successor basins,
basin history, interrupted by a phase of uplift in the the Salawati and Bintuni basins, are found in the Bird’s
onshore area in the Late Oligocene. Traps were formed in Head region of West Papua (formerly called Irian Jaya).
the Pliocene and Pleistocene and rely on a combination of Both overlie Australian continental basement. Permian and
growth faults and discrete NW–SE trending compressional Mesozoic are known to occur in the Bintuni Basin and
folds and faults produced during a series of uplift and provide an important hydrocarbon habitat.
inversion events. In the Salawati Basin the pre-Tertiary does not
contribute to the petroleum system and if present, occurs
at depths of no commercial consequence:
5.10.1. Petroleum systems
All hydrocarbons in the Tarakan basin are derived from
Early Synrift (Paleocene to Eocene): During this period,
and trapped in late postrift stage sediments. Source rocks
outer neritic to bathyal shales and carbonates of the
are Middle to Late Miocene coals and coaly shales of the
Waripi Formation were deposited, indicating that rift
Tabul Formation, while fluvio-deltaic sands belonging to
formation took place in deep water.
the Late Miocene Tabul and Plio-Pleistocene Tarakan
Late Synrift (Late Eocene to Oligocene): The deepwater
formations form the main reservoirs. A variety of trap
environments were succeeded by a carbonate platform
types are present, concentrated at points where growth
(Fauma Formation) and deltaic clastics (Sirga Forma-
faults culminate above the NW–SE trending anticlinal
tion) as the rift was in-filled.
arches. Several hangingwall dip closures, assisted or not by
Early Postrift (Miocene): This period represents a
fault closure are represented, as well as local pure footwall transgressive period during which extensive carbonate
closures. All accumulations belong to the Tabul–Tarakan platforms and reefs of the Kais Formation developed.
(!) PS. The deepwater area remains largely unexplored to The reefs are surrounded by marginal clastics of the
date with only a few wells having been drilled, so far deep water Klamogun Formation. This shoaled into
without commercial success. the Late Miocene. Rapid subsidence is evidenced
The creaming curve for this basin is dominated by the by high-standing pinnacle reefs. Charge in the basin
discovery of the Bunyu field in 1922. Since then only minor may be derived from marine type II/III source rock
quantities of mainly gas have been added. marls and shales of the Klasafet Formation (Peters
et al., 1999).
5.11. Eastern Indonesia: Bula (Seram), Salawati, Bintuni Late Postrift (Plio-Pleistocene): A rapidly deposited and
and East Sulawesi Basins very thick sequence of regressive clastics, including
sands and shales of the Klasaman Formation accumu-
Eastern Indonesian Basins (Indonesian Petroleum Asso- lated. The underlying Late Miocene Klasafet source
ciation, 1998) differ from those of western Indonesia rock attained maturity as a result of this thick
(Fig. 14). They include significantly older sedimentary sedimentary wedge.
sequences derived from slices of the Australian continental
margin that were incorporated in the eastern Indonesian Following accretion of the basement sequence in the
collision zone during the Middle and Late Tertiary Paleocene, subsidence was rapid in this continent margin
(Hutchinson, 1996). Thus, although Tertiary depositional basin. Transcurrent movements along the Sorong fault
environment and lithofacies developments are recognizable, commenced in the late Miocene and led to uplift and
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Fig. 14. East Indonesia basins—location map (top left), West Papua and Seram basins (Salawati, Bintuni and Bula, respectively, top right) and Tomori
Basin, Sulawesi (bottom left). Oil and gas fields are classified according to the basin stage in which they occur.

erosion adjacent to the basin—this provided the sediments basin called the Tomori Basin. In the Senoro-Toili
for the late postrift that covered the Miocene carbonates. and Tiaka regions, both oil and gas have been found
Wrench movements have continued up to the present day. in Miocene biohermal reservoirs of similar age to the
The Tertiary section Wiriagar area (Fig. 14) of the reservoirs in the Salawati and Buntuni basins (Davies,
Bintuni Basin has a similar stratigraphy to the Salawati 1990).
Basin, with the exception that pinnacle reefs did not
develop to the same degree, perhaps due to excessive 5.11.1. Petroleum systems
subsidence rates. Low relief Kais Formation reefs, where In the Bula Basin, only one small producing field is
present, are known to contain oil, but the volumes are less present (Bula-Lemun, approximately 15 millionbbl). It
significant than in the Salawati trend. The main petroleum belongs to a petroleum system that can be defined as
system of the Bintuni basin occurs within the Mesozoic having been charged from a Triassic–Jurassic marine
section, as indicated by the huge gas discoveries at carbonate type II mudstone source rock and having a
Wiriagar (Dolan and Hermany, 1988), Vorwata and Pleistocene reefoid sandy limestone reservoir. It is defined
Ubadari (collectively known as the Tagguh field). The here as the Mesozoic–Fufa (!) PS. Two small oil fields, now
source for these hydrocarbons lies within a thick Permian closed in, are located in marginal marine sandstone
sequence, rich in type III coals, with some contributions reservoirs in the thrusted Jurassic and Triassic sequences,
from overmature marine argillaceous type II/III source indicating that a second petroleum system is present. This
rocks of the Mid-Late Jurassic. we refer to the Mesozoic–Manusela (.) PS, as defined by
The Tomori Basin of eastern Sulawesi (Fig. 14) bears Howes and Tisnawijaya (1995). A new discovery in this
many similarities to the Salawati and Tertiary Bintuni petroleum system, the Oseil field, is currently under
basinal areas. Left lateral strike–slip movements along the development (Nilandaroe et al., 2001).
Sorong fault have resulted in accretion of Australian The Salawati Basin is characterized by a compact area
microcontinental fragments into the East Sulawesi and with a rich petroleum system, from which more than
Banggai-Sula regions (Milsom et al., 1999). Collision (Hall, 300 millionbbl of oil have been produced from 15 fields
1997) and obduction of ophiolitic material in East (half of it from one field, Walio). We refer to it as the
Sulawesi, thought to have occurred during the Pliocene, Klasafet–Kais (!) PS. It is characterized by the following
created a fold–thrust system with an associated foreland elements: Source rock—late Miocene marine shales and
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marlstones (type II/III) of the Klasafet Formation; appraised with the possibility of future commercial
reservoir rock/trap—Kais Formation limestones and do- development for local or export markets.
lomitic limestones in pinnacle reefs underlying surface
drape anticlines composed of sealing shales. The pinnacle 6. Common petroleum systems and their development
reefs are situated updip of the probable source kitchen to
the north, allowing for efficient migration from overlying In the above discussion, we have limited the petroleum
shales into porous migration conduits. In this small systems identified and discussed to those that occur in
province with a single play, exploration has been highly productive hydrocarbon basins in Indonesia and which are
efficient, as can be seen from the creaming curve (Howes represented by fields or potentially commercial accumula-
and Tisnawijaya, 1995). Following the mid-1970s few new tions. Indications for other systems that could, for
discoveries have been made and, as in many carbonate instance, be evidenced by promising source rock horizons
provinces, the production has since been in steep decline. and/or seepages have not been included, nor have potential
Two petroleum systems are developed in the Bintuni petroleum systems in non-productive basins (of which there
Basin area: the Tertiary–Kais (.) PS and the Aifam–Roabiba are several). The reason for this is that the uncertainties
(!) PS in the pre-Tertiary sequence. The Tertiary–Kais related to these potential and speculative petroleum
system has yielded little in the way of commercial oil systems are so great that there is little to be learned from
discoveries, although with improved seismic, better defini- them—rather, the lessons derived from the known systems
tion and location of reefal facies may be possible. The discussed above should be applied to evaluate their
Aifam–Roabiba system is by far the more important, potential. For a more complete list of potential and
giving rise to a major new LNG project based on the over speculative systems (those without discoveries to date),
18 tcf of certified gas reserves of the Tangguh field area. the reader should consult Howes and Tisnawijaya (1995)
The Roabiba sands, which form the primary reservoir, are and Bradshaw et al. (1997). The latter includes a list of
similar in age and properties to the highly productive petroleum systems in the Indonesian–Australian Zone of
Plover Fm, well known from Timor Sea region of Cooperation (ZOCA).
the Northwest shelf of Australia (Whittam et al., 1996). The list of petroleum systems presented represents our
A secondary reservoir in Paleocene turbiditic sands is also best estimate based on the principle of clustering those
present, but the reservoir properties appear less uniform within one basin area (as currently in common usage in
than those of the primary Roabiba sands. Indonesia) supported by geochemical correlation studies.
Structural development in the Tangguh area was two As the latter improve, the list will need constant revision.
fold: an early phase of Late Mesozoic postrift folding,
followed by Plio-Pleistocene compression associated with 6.1. Petroleum systems in their basin stage context
the development of the Lengguru fold and thrust belt to the
east. Charge from the Permian/Jurassic source system was Most of the petroleum systems identified above can be
initiated during the Pliocene by rapid subsidence and burial grouped into one of the four petroleum system types
within a foreland setting west of the Lengguru thrust front. described from SE Asia in general by Doust and Lijmbach
In the Tomori basin of East Sulawesi, two petroleum (1997) and shown in Fig. 15. We thus make a link between
systems have been observed to date. The first is the the petroleum geology and the basin evolution, so that we
Tomori–Tomori (.) PS in which oil has been found in can identify the common elements of petroleum systems
fractured limestones of the Lower Miocene Tomori developed in the four basin stages and bring out the
Formation (Davies, 1990). The reservoir facies is a variations within them—the latter usually being related to
platform limestone, with lower porosity and permeability differences in the sequence of depositional environments. We
than the reefoid facies seen elsewhere in the region. Charge can recognize two categories in each petroleum system type:
for this system is derived from marine shales and marls of
the Lower Miocene Tomori Formation, which has Category (i): Those in which both source and reservoir
geochemical properties similar to those of the Klasafet lie within the same basin stage (i.e. the PS is integral to
Formation in the Salawati basin (albeit of slightly different that stage).
age). The second system is the Minahaki–Mantawa (.) PS. Category (ii): Those in which the reservoir lies in
This system encompasses a series of gas discoveries in another, usually younger, basin stage than the source.
biohermal reservoirs of the Late Miocene Mantawa
member of the Minahaki Formation. The gas appears to The basic petroleum system types described below
be largely of biogenic origin, being derived from bacterial are sometimes shortened in the text and figures to PST 1,
conversion of organic matter in the surrounding Minahaki PST 2, PST 3 and PST 4:
and Matindok claystones. Some of the gas accumulations
have a small oil rim and elevated condensate yield, 1. Early Synrift Lacustrine petroleum system type (PST 1)
indicating that a mixed source system is active, with oil Category (i)
charge derived from the underlying Tomori shales (Noble Pematang—Pematang (!) PS (Central Sumatra
et al., 2000). Gas resources in this region are being Basin).
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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.

Banuwati–Harriet Mbr (.) PS, (Sunda/Asri Talang Akar–Palembang (.) PS, reservoir in PST 4
basins). (South Sumatra Basin).
Tanjung–Tanjung (!) PS, (Barito Basin). Talang Akar–Main/Massive (!) PS, reservoir in
Category (ii) PST 3 (NW Java Basin).
Talang Akar–Jatibarang (.) PS, reservoir in PST 1
Pematang–Sihapas (!) PS, reservoir in PST 2
(Central Sumatra Basin). (Jatibarang tuffs onshore Java).
Pematang–Duri (!) PS, reservoir in PST 3 (Central
Sumatra Basin). 3. Early Postrift Marine petroleum system type (PST 3)
Benua–Gabus (!) PS, reservoir in PST 2 (West Category (i)
Natuna Sea). Gumai–Gumai (.) PS (South Sumatra Basin).
Banuwati–Talang Akar (!) PS, reservoir in PST 2 Tertiary–Terumbu (.) PS, origin of charge
(Sunda/Asri basins). unknown (East Natuna Sea).
Ngimbang–Kujung (.) PS, reservoir in PST 2 Klinjau–Klinjau (.) PS (Mahakam Delta Basin).
(NE Java Basin). Klasafet–Kais (!) PS (Salawati Basin). Tertiary–
Ngimbang–Ngrayong (.) PS, reservoir in PST 3 Kais (.) PS Bintuni Basin. Tomori–Tomori (.)
(NE Java Basin). PS Tomori Basin.
Ngimbang–Pliocene (.) PS, reservoir in PST 4
(NE Java Basin). 4. Late Postrift Regressive Deltaic petroleum system type
Tanjung–Kutei (.) PS, reservoir in PST 3 (Kutei (PST 4)
Basin). Category (i)
Baong–Keutapang (!) PS (North Sumatra Basin).
2. Late Synrift Transgressive Fluvio-deltaic petroleum Balikpapan–Balikpapan (!) PS (Mahakam Delta
system type (PST 2) Basin).
Category (i) Miocene–Mio/Pliocene (.) PS (Deepwater Makas-
Talang Akar–Talang Akar (!) PS, includes possible sar Straits).
charge from PST 1 (South Sumatra Basin). Tabul–Tarakan (!) PS (Tarakan Basin).
Category (ii) Category (ii)
Bampo–Peutu (!) PS, reservoir in PST 3 (North Tertiary–Belumai (.) PS, source possible Baong,
Sumatra Basin). reservoir in PST 3 (North Sumatra Basin).
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A number of petroleum systems do not lend themselves Proximal basins are strongly oil-prone, receiving charge
to classification in the four PSTs. These include: from rich early synrift lacustrine to deltaic source rocks.
Biogenic–Parigi (.) PS, for which the charge is biogenic The best reservoirs and most of the hydrocarbon accumu-
rather than thermogenic (NW Java); lations are situated in late synrift deltaic clastics, under-
Mesozoic–Fufa (!) PS, charge from prerift Mesozoic into lying the regional early postrift seal. The maintenance of
reservoir in PST 4 (Bula Basin); proximal environments implies that subsidence was lim-
Mesozoic–Manusela (.) PS, charge and reservoir in the ited, and maturity is often a crucial issue: typically fields
prerift Mesozoic (Bula Basin); are located directly above active early synrift source
Aifam–Roabiba (!) PS, charge from pre-Mesozoic, kitchens.
reservoir in Mesozoic early post rift (Bintuni Basin); and Intermediate basins: These have a typically proximal
Minahaki–Mantawa (.) PS, biogenic charge from Late synrift development, but underwent greater subsidence in
Miocene sediments (Tomori BSIN). the postrift, where they are characterized by more distal
7. Basin families, their tectonostratigraphic evolution and
prospectivity Evolution: Early Synrift, lacustrine to deltaic; Late
Synrift, deltaic; Early Postrift, marine (clastic and
The distribution of the petroleum systems identified is carbonate); Late Postrift, deltaic.
dependent on the sedimentary basin history. Knowledge of Dominant petroleum system type(s): PST 2 Late Synrift
the syn- and postrift basin evolution and the succession of Transgressive Deltaic, PST 1 Early Synrift Lacustrine,
depositional environments makes it possible to identify with minor PST 3 Early Postrift Marine.
and/or predict which petroleum systems (and their Example basins: South Sumatra, East Natuna, Sunda,
constituent plays) may be present. To aid this, we have NW Java onshore, NE Java onshore, Barito.
distinguished a number of characteristic Indonesian basin
families, which have distinct ‘‘trajectories’’ (Doust, 2003) Intermediate basins contain the greatest diversity of
through a matrix of deepening depositional environment petroleum system types, thanks to their mixture of rich
and basin development phase (Fig. 16). synrift charge and postrift reservoirs. They are both oil and
Proximal basins: These are basins that throughout their gas prone thanks to the enhanced subsidence, which brings
development maintained relatively proximal depositional the late synrift to maturity, thus allowing for a charge from
environments. They are located close to the core of the pre- mixed early and late synrift lacustrine and deltaic sources.
Tertiary Sunda Craton. The presence of marine clastic and carbonate reservoirs
covered by regional marine shales enhances the efficiency
Evolution: Early Synrift, lacustrine; Late Synrift, deltaic; of these basins. The late postrift deltaic sequence contains
Early Postrift, marine (clastic); Late Postrift, deltaic. coaly source rocks and reservoir sands, but maturity is not
Dominant petroleum system type(s): PST 1 Early Synrift reached, so charge to this level can be achieved only where
Lacustrine. the early postrift seal is proximal and breached (as in the
Example basins: Central Sumatra, West Natuna, Asri. 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.
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Distal basins: Distal basins occupy the edges of the pre- other areas, Mesozoic and pre-Mesozoic rocks with strong
Tertiary Sunda craton, and have either a history of affinity to Australian sequences provide both source and
substantial subsidence or are located distally with respect reservoir.
to postrift uplift and delta developments.
More detail on the hydrocarbon habitat parameters
Evolution: Early Synrift, deltaic; Late Synrift, marine; related to the environments represented in the various
Early Postrift, marine (carbonate and clastic); Late basin types are described above in the section on aspects of
Postrift, deltaic to deeper marine. the hydrocarbon system.
Dominant petroleum system type(s): PST 2 Late Synrift It is interesting to note that, as with many basins,
Transgressive Deltaic, PST 3 Early Postrift Marine, PST Indonesian basins usually comprise suites of proximal to
4 Late Postrift Regressive Deltaic. distal environments at each stage in their history. The
Example basins: North Sumatra, NW Java offshore, NE characteristics of the various basin types noted above,
Java offshore. therefore, can be applied to the description and evaluation
of portions of basins as much as to that of the basins as a
Distal basins were open to the ocean in the early synrift whole. The basin families referred to are elements of a
and miss the lacustrine development, so most of the charge much larger system of similar basins, developed through-
is terrestrial (deltaic and/or marine). As a result, they tend out the Tertiary of the Far East and SE Asia (Doust and
to be more gas prone (except in the case of the southern Sumner, 2007).
part of North Sumatra, where the source and reservoir are
in the postrift stage). In many cases, the main reservoirs are
early postrift carbonates—these basins lie outside the 8. Summary and conclusions
influence of the Tertiary clastic wedges.
Borneo basins: The Kutei–Mahakam and Tarakan basins Indonesian petroliferous basins share a number of
of Kalimantan belong to a family that developed on Late important characteristics: most are Tertiary in age and pass
Mesozoic to Tertiary crust and subsequently came to lie through early Tertiary synrift to late Tertiary postrift stages
along a passive continental margin. Early stages of basin of geological development. They are filled with non-marine
evolution were subjected to extensive inversion and only to marine sediments subject to rapid environmentally-
the late postrift contributes to the petroleum geology. controlled facies variations and receive charge almost
exclusively from terrestrial and/or lacustrine source material.
Evolution: Early Synrift, alluvial; Late Synrift, deep The petroleum systems present in the various basins can
marine; Early Postrift, deep marine (carbonate and be classified into four PSTs, which can be related directly to
clastic); Late Postrift, deltaic to deeper marine. the main stages of basin development. These PSTs are:
Dominant petroleum system type(s): PST 4 Late Postrift
Regressive Deltaic. Early Synrift Lacustrine PST—strongly oil-prone,
Example basins: Kutei–Mahakam, Tarakan. thanks to charge from rich lacustrine source rocks,
located in the deeper Eocene to Oligocene parts of the
These basins show the late postrift prospectivity best— rift basins.
they are very rich, with excellent deltaic reservoirs and Late Synrift Transgressive Deltaic PST—commonly
source rocks. The interbedded nature of the source, with oil and gas derived from terrestrial deltaic source
reservoir and seals results in multiple stacked accumula- rocks, occupying the shallower Oligocene to early
tions, containing major reserves of both oil and gas. Miocene parts of the rift basins.
Eastern Indonesian basins: These basins have complex Early Postrift Marine PST—mainly gas prone, with
and variable histories, in which the tectonic development is charge from marine shales, corresponding to an early
spread over the Mesozoic and Tertiary. Nevertheless, we Miocene period of transgression that flooded the synrift
can still identify similar patterns as in the other basins in grabens and their surrounding platforms.
the Tertiary. Late Postrift Regressive Deltaic PST—oil and gas prone,
derived from rich deltaic terrestrial source rocks deposited
Evolution: Early Synrift, open marine to deep water; in deltas that prograded out over the basins in the late
Late Synrift, carbonates and deltaics; Early Postrift, Tertiary in response to collisional and inversion events.
carbonate platforms and marine clastics; Late Postrift,
deltaic. The development and distribution of petroleum systems
Dominant Petroleum system type(s): Mesozoic–Tertiary, in Indonesian basins is dependent on a number of factors,
PST 3 Early Postrift Marine. including the source rock facies and maturity, variability in
Example basins: Tomori, Bula, Salawati, Bintuni. the development of reservoir facies, whether the sealing
horizons are intra-formational or regional in extent and on
In the Salawati, Tertiary Bintuni and Tomori basins, the the style and development of structural traps. Charge
charge appears to arise from Miocene source rocks. In cannot in general be ascribed to individual source horizons
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and it is clear that considerable mixing has taken place. Buck, S.P., McCulloh, T.H., 1994. Bampo–Peutu (!) Petroleum System,
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deeper-lying PST has apparently charged reservoirs be- Petroleum System—From Source to Trap. AAPG Memoir, vol. 60,
pp. 625–637 (Chapter 38).
longing to shallower PSTs. Bushnell, D.C., Temansja, A.D., 1986. A model for hydrocarbon
Not surprisingly, the predominant depositional environ- accumulation in Sunda Basin, West Java Sea. In: Proceedings of
ment and lithofacies of the basins dictates the predominant International Petroleum Association 15th Annual Convention,
petroleum system type that is present. We have recognized pp. 47–75.
the following ‘‘basin families’’, based on their location with Carter, D.C., 2003. 3-D seismic geomorphology: insights into fluvial
reservoir deposition and performance, Widuri Field, Java Sea. AAPG
respect to the continental core of SE Asia, the Sunda Bulletin 87 (6), 909–934.
Craton: Charlton, T.R., 2004. The petroleum potential of inversion anticlines in
the Banda Arc. AAPG Bulletin 88 (5), 565–585.
Proximal basins (e.g., Central Sumatra, West Natuna, Darman, H., Hasan Sidi, F., 2000. An Outline of the Geology of
Asri) in which the Early Synrift Lacustrine PST is Indonesia. Indonesian Association of Geologists, 192pp.
Davies, I.C., 1990. Geological and exploration review of the Tomori PSC,
predominant. Eastern Indonesia. In: Proceedings of Industrial Petroleum Associa-
Intermediate basins (e.g. South Sumatra, East Natuna, tion 19th Annual Convention (IPA 90-223), pp. 41–67.
Sunda, onshore Java, Barito), which contain both Dolan, P.J., Hermany, 1988. The geology of the Wiriagar field, Bintuni
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Doust, H., 1999. Commonality of Petroleum Systems in Southeast Asia
Distal basins (e.g. North Sumatra, Java offshore) in Tertiary basins (ABS). AAPG Bulletin 84 (9), 1419.
which the dominant PSTs are the Late Synrift Trans- Doust, H., 2003. Petroleum systems and plays in their basin history
gressive Deltaic and the Marine and Regressive Deltaic context: a means to assist in the identification of new opportunities.
PSTs of the postrift. First Break 21 (9 September), 73–83.
Borneo basins (e.g. Kutei–Mahakam, Tarakan) in which Doust, H., Lijmbach, G., 1997. Charge constraints on the hydrocarbon
habitat and development of hydrocarbon systems in Southeast Asia
only the Late Postrift Regressive Deltaic PST is Tertiary basins. In: Proceedings of the Petroleum Systems of SE Asia
developed. and Australasia Conference, IPA-OR-16, May 1997.
Eastern Indonesian basins (e.g. Tomori, Bula, Salawati, Doust, H., Sumner, H.S., 2007. Petroleum systems in rift basins – a
Bintuni) in which the petroleum system is either collective approach in Southeast Asian basins. Petroleum Geoscience
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Dunham, J., McKee, D., 2001. Hydrocarbon discoveries in Upper
Miocene unconfined submarine fan facies, deep water Kutei Basin,
Acknowledgements Indonesia. FOSI Conference, Jakarta 2001 (Abstract).
Dunham, J., Brown, T., Lin, R., Redhead, R., Schwing, H., Shirley, S.,
We are grateful to all of the authors whose work over the 2001. Transport and concentration of oil- and gas-prone Kerogen into
years has contributed so abundantly to knowledge of deep water sediments of the Kutei Basin, East Kalimantan, Indonesia.
AAPG 2001, Annual Convention (Abstract).
Indonesian petroleum geology—without them a synthesis
Duval, B.C., Cassigneau, C., Choppin de Janvry, G., Loiret, B., Leo, Alibi
of the main trends, as we have attempted here, would be M., Grosjean, Y., 1998. Impact of the petroleum system approach
impossible. One of us (H.D.) is also grateful to Shell to exploration and appraisal efficiency in the Mahakam Delta. IPA
International Petroleum Company for the opportunity 98-1-131.
(in the 1990s) to study, with an outstanding team, the Essam Sharaf, J.A., Simo, Caroll, A.R., Shields, M., 2005. Stratigraphic
evolution of Oligocene–Miocene carbonates and siliciclastics, East
fascinating geology of Far East Tertiary basins. Some of
Java Basin, Indonesia. AAPG Bulletin 98 (6), 799–819.
the ideas presented here were conceived during this period. Gresko, M., Suria, C., Sinclair, S., 1995. Basin evolution of the
R.A.N. is grateful for the support of Unocal Indonesia Ardjuna rift system and its implications for hydrocarbon explo-
Company and for their permission to publish this article. ration, offshore NW Java, Indonesia. In: Proceedings of Industrial
Finally, we are very grateful to anonymous reviewers who Petroleum Association 24th Annual Convention, October 1995,
pp. 147–161.
helped us in many ways to increase the quality and
Guritno, E., Salvadori, L., Syaiful, M., Busono, I., Mortimer, A., Hakim,
consistency of the text. F.B., Dunham, J., Decker, J., Algar, S., 2003. Deep water Kutei Basin:
a new petroleum province. In: Proceedings of Industrial Petroleum
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