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Thirtieth Annual Convention & Exhibition, August 2005



Rui Lin*
Art Saller*
John Dunham*
Phil Teas*
Marek Kacewicz*
Joe Curiale*
John Decker*

ABSTRACT and CO2 are observed in some shallow Pliocene

reservoirs. The generation of oil and gas mostly
The deepwater portion of the Kutei Basin has been an occurred at oil window maturities.
exploration focus for Unocal Indonesia since 1996,
which has led to several gas and oil discoveries. Migration fractionation and gas leakage, not source
Numerous oil, gas and rock samples have been facies, exercised the dominant control on oil versus
collected during exploration drilling, and analyzed for gas distribution in the Kutei deepwater. It is believed
geochemistry to refine working model(s) of the that single-phase hydrocarbon fluids were generated
operating deepwater petroleum system. The from the Middle- and Lower-Miocene strata, and
geochemical analyses indicate that allochthonous migrated vertically through faults and fractured shales.
land-plant organic matter is the source of Lower pressure-temperature in the upper Miocene
hydrocarbons in the deepwater Kutei Basin. The and Pliocene reservoirs allowed phase segregation
organic matter in turbidites is dominated by plant leaf into gas and oil zones. Interbedded oil and gas
fragments (occurring as thin coaly laminae), woody resulted from multiple episodes of migration charging.
debris and less frequently resin bodies and recycled Iterations of migration, fractionation and gas leakage
coaly particles. TOC contents can range from 1 to enriched oils in an otherwise gas-rich basin.
over 50% with hydrogen indices mostly between 100
and 400 (mg HC/g TOC). The overall kerogen INTRODUCTION
assemblages are type III and subordinate type II,
consistent with a gas condensate to a gas volatile oil The Kutei Basin (which includes the Mahakam Delta)
petroleum system. No marine algal remains are in East Kalimantan, Indonesia is a world-class
evident in the deepwater sources, nor are any petroleum province with over 70 TCF of gas and 5.4
suggested by oil analyses. billion barrels of oil and condensate in recoverable
reserves (Figure 1). It is a gas-rich basin with large oil
Oil/condensate chemistries vary widely but the reserves (with an estimated basin-wide cumulative
fundamental genetic makeup of these deepwater recoverable GOR of ca. 13000 scf/stb). Early
liquids shares similar characteristics including (1) discoveries of oil and gas fields are located near shore
high pristane/phytane, oleanane/hopane and and on the shelf. Geochemical studies and petroleum
bicadinane/hopane ratios, (2) a C29-sterane dominance system analyses of the oils and gases from these fields
and the general lack of C30-steranes, (3) high suggest that they were sourced from coals and
lupanoids, (4) low sulfur and asphaltene, and carbonaceous shales of the delta complex (Combaz
(5) variable wax content. Gases are mainly and de Matharell, 1978; Durand and Oudin, 1980;
thermogenic and the mixing of biogenic methane Curiale and Lin, 1991; Duval et al., 1992a, b). The
kerogen assemblages were derived from land plants,
* Unocal Corporation belonging to types III and II. The pro-delta shales are

considered to be of relatively poor quality and gas- of different sequence stratigraphic units including
prone. The high organic abundance in deltaic coals high stand, low stand and transgressive settings.
and shales, the significant depths of burial with thick Curiale et al. (2005) further examined the internal
deltaic sediments and the abundance of deltaic sands architecture and variability of the land-plant super oil
all provide an excellent habitat for gas and oil to family in the deepwater Kutei Basin; the authors were
accumulate in the Kutei Basin. able to recognize oil (sub)-families based on varying
biomarker (molecular) signatures. Continued drilling
Fluid migration study in the inboard and onshore and analyses further testified that substantial source
areas of the Kutei Basin was undertaken by IFP and rocks for hydrocarbons do exist in the deepwater
TOTAL (Combaz and De Matharell, 1978; Durand Kutei Basin. Large quantities of gas (ca. 10 TCF) and
and Oudin, 1980; Radke et al., 1990). The authors oil (ca. 200-300 mmbo) have been discovered to date
concluded that the oils (in the Handil field) were (Redhead et al., 2000; Dunham and McKee, 2001),
sourced from a depth around 9200 feet corresponding reservoired in Pliocene and Miocene sands deposited
to a Ro of roughly 0.7%; hydrocarbon fluids migrated in deepwater environments.
vertically through faults into their deltaic sand
reservoirs. This model is consistent with what was This paper aims to (1) establish a deepwater
proposed later by Duval et al. (1992a,b), which still petroleum system model in which the source rocks
validly explains the sourcing and migration of are based on the allochthonous remains of land plants
petroleum in the shelf/onshore portion of the Kutei involving significant leaf fragments, (2) identify and
Basin. The pro-delta shales are observed to possess characterize these land plant based deepwater organic
poor hydrocarbon generation potentials (Durand and facies in association with turbidites, (3) illustrate an
Oudin, 1980; Curiale and Lin, 1991; and Duval et al., overall gas condensate to gas volatile oil system at
1992a, b). generation, (4) demonstrate how episodic migration,
fractionation and gas leakage lead to variable gas
The observed inferior source quality of the pro-delta liquid ratios and oil versus gas fields, and (5) confirm
shales may have led people to consider that source volumetric sufficiency of these deepwater organic
potential would decline or even disappear extending facies for commercial gas and oil accumulations.
into the deepwater Kutei Basin. Thus, for the
deepwater Kutei Basin (water depths >2000 ft, Figure BRIEF GEOLOGIC OVERVIEW
1), early industry interpretations were concerned
about significant exploration risks. These risks The Kutei Basin is a large Tertiary depocenter,
included the lack of (1) sufficient overburden situated in eastern Kalimantan and extending into the
(thermal maturity) for hydrocarbon generation, (2) Makassar Strait; it contains the Mahakam Delta
organic richness (distal of pro-delta shale) and (3) the (Figure 1). Rift basin formation probably initiated
availability of well-developed sands in the deep water. between Paleocene and early Eocene times (van de
It was thought that the deepwater acreage may not Weerd and Armin, 1992; Moss et al., 2000; Nichols et
contain commercially viable petroleum systems al., 1998). The rifting led to the formation of the
(based on land-plant sources) unless alternative Makassar Strait, possibly with oceanic crust to the
sources such as Eocene and Oligocene syn-rift north and continental thinning in the south (Nichols et
lacustrine and/or marine carbonates/shales are present. al., 1998). As a result, Eocene syn-rift half grabens
were formed (Guritno et al., 2003), which were
First analyses of deepwater source rocks, oils and subsequently filled with alluvial, fluvial and
gases in the Kutei Basin were reported by Lin (1998) lacustrine sediments. The Kutei Basin entered a sag
and Lin et al. (2000) from drilling in the Merah Besar phase in the Oligocene during which time marine
and Seno fields. The author(s) concluded that the carbonate was deposited along the basin margins
hydrocarbon accumulations were sourced from land (Saller et al., 1993). Eastward progradation of the
plant organic matter contained in turbidite facies. ancient Mahakam delta commenced in Late
Peters et al. (2000) related the Kutei source rocks to Oligocene (Saller et al., 1993), and deltaic
sequence stratigraphy, and advocated a dominantly sedimentation continues today. As a consequence of
terrestrial source for the oil and gas accumulations in continued basin subsidence and creation of
the Kutei Basin, including the deepwater. The authors accommodation space for deltaic sedimentation by
grouped four oil families in accordance with sources the ancient Mahakam River, a very thick column of

deltaic sediments (>10 kilometers thick in places) was University of Oklahoma (Norman, Oklahoma, USA).
deposited from the Miocene to the present. The The stable carbon isotopes were determined for C1, C2,
Miocene and Pliocene deltaic sandstones form the C3, iC4, nC4 and CO2. Deuterium isotope was
main reservoirs for the gas and oil accumulations in measured on methane. Gas isotopic analyses were
the Kutei Basin. performed by Zymax (San Luis Obispo, California,
By mid-Miocene, the extensional tectonic regime
shifted to east-west compression, initiating formation RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
of fold belts which are key to many gas and oil
accumulations in the Kutei Basin. In the northern Oil, Gas and Condensate Properties
deepwater Kutei Basin, a gravity driven extension-
toe-thrust coupled with accommodation antithetic The fluid types and properties in the deepwater Kutei
faults developed in the mid-Miocene and continues Basin vary widely, ranging from dry gas yielding
today. In the central and southern deepwater Kutei little condensate, to wet gas yielding >70 stb/mmscf,
Basin, much less faulting occurred (Guritno et al., and from light volatile oil to waxy low GOR black
2003), where accumulations are notably gas prone. oils. The oil fields are located in the northern
deepwater Kutei Basin (Seno, Merah Besar and
Source rock developments in the basin Ranggas) (Figure 1), associated with intense faulting.
depended on the tectono-stratigraphic framework. Complex and interbedded oil and gas zones are
The overwhelming majority of hydrocarbon common in these fields. Gas fields were discovered in
accumulations in the basins are correlated to the the central and southern outboard of the delta (Gehem,
Miocene deltaics (Durand and Oudin, 1980; Duval et Gula and Gendalo) (Figure 1). The gas fields exhibit
al., 1992a, b; Curiale and Lin, 1991; Peters et al., overall depth-dependant trends of gas composition
2000). Two main episodes of coal and carbonaceous and condensate yield; increasingly heavier gases
shale depositions are observed in association with the (more C2+ components relative to C1) and higher
development of the ancient Mahakam Delta. One condensate yields are found in deeper reservoirs.
episode occurred in the mid-Miocene, and the other Nonetheless, localized reversal of these trends do
commenced in the upper Miocene (ca. 8 mybp) which exist. Limited waxy and low GOR oils are found in
continues today. Very limited oil and gas condensate the deep mid-Miocene reservoirs below the gases.
accumulations suspected of Eocene syn-rift and
Oligocene marine carbonate origins are also known in The gases are mostly sweet with low non-
basin margins. hydrocarbon contaminants. Nitrogen (N2) content is
mostly below 0.5% and CO2 content below 9%. H2S
METHODS AND INSTRUMENTATION content is mostly below detection limit (<100 ppm)
when analyzed at the lab (though low concentrations
Screening geochemical analyses were performed by of H2S of safety concerns are possible which were
Core Laboratories (Jakarta) and Lemigas (Jakarta). scrubbed by reactions with the metal chambers during
Deepwater wells were drilled with either an oil transport and storage). The heating values of most
(Mentor)-based mud (OBM) or synthetic (Saraline)- gases are between 950 and 1500 BTU/scf, which are
based mud (SBM). Therefore, a rigorous procedure largely dependent on CO2/N2 contents and gas
involving solvent extractions was employed to wetness (C2+) (Figure 2a).
remove SBM/OBM from the samples prior to source
rock analyses. Petrographic analyses were performed Most oils and condensates in the Kutei deepwater
using a Zeiss light microscope equipped with both have low sulfur (<0.2%) and asphaltene (mostly <1%
white- and blue-light illuminations. Whole except several samples 2-6%). API gravity varies
oils/condensates from both DST and MDT tests were from 20 to near 50 for oils, and from 36 to 56 for
analyzed for high resolution gas chromatography condensates (Figure 2b). Three populations may be
(GC), GC-MSD and GC-MSMS, which were carried recognized; one centers around an API gravity of 40o,
out by Baseline/DGSI (Houston, Texas, USA). which corresponds to medium and low wax oils. The
Instrumentation and analytical conditions for these second, a relatively heavy oil population, centers
analyses were reported previously (Curiale et al., between 26-28o API gravity which can either be high
2005). GC-IR-MS analyses were undertaken at the wax oils or biodegraded oils whose wax had been

removed but whose aromatic and cyclic saturate samples differ with each other, varying from light
hydrocarbons are enriched to yield comparatively low condensate (Figure 3a), waxy condensate (Figure 3b),
API gravity. A third population represents the light oil (Figure 3c), to waxy black oil (Figure 3d).
condensates. Due to the generally high SBM/OBM The oils and condensates also have variable fluid
contamination, most condensate samples were not properties. Nevertheless, they are characterized by
determined for bulk properties, thus having a small similar genetic molecular ratios such as high
sample population in Figure 2b. pristane/phytane ratios (IP-19/IP-20), other high
isoprenoids (IP-13, -14, -15 and -16) and relatively
Wax content in the oils varies widely from little to high toluene and xylenes, all relating to their land-
18% (Figure 2c). The high wax (>10%) oils are plant precursors. Not only are these genetic molecular
associated with high pour points (Figure 2d) which is characteristics similar to other deepwater oils and
a significant concern for production flow assurance. condensates, but also do they resemble those from the
Since the oils are depleted in asphaltene and NSOs, onshore and shelf fields. The distributions of
wax content is the controlling factor on viscosity and pristane/phytane ratios comparing onshore, shelf and
pour point. The medium wax oils (4-10%) are more deepwater fields show that the overwhelming
often associated with high GORs. These levels of wax majority fall in a similar range (mostly between 4-8,
would have otherwise been manageable in a shelf reflecting an initially oxic depositional environment).
production environment; nonetheless, it still is a
significant production flow assurance concern in a Whole oil isotope analyses of DST and production
deepwater operating environment (Gallup et al., samples free of SBM/OBM also confirm genetic
2005). Figure 2d plots pour point against tvdbml (true similarity (of land plant origin) for the deepwater and
vertical depth below mudline). Given significant data shelf oil/gas accumulations. Oil and condensate
scattering, an overall trend of increasing pour point samples from the shelf and deepwater both have
with depth is suggested, largely due to migration stable carbon isotope ratios falling in a very narrow
fractionation (to be elaborated below). In range from -27 to -29 (o/oo). Compound-specific
consideration of a seafloor temperature of ca. 40oF, a carbon isotope analyses by GC-IR-MS yield
large proportion of the oil and condensate (those with consistent interpretations that, regardless of oil versus
high and medium level wax, 4 to over 20%) samples condensate or shelf versus deepwater, the isotope
poses flow assurance concerns. The low wax signatures are very similar (results not shown),
population (0-4%) is due to evaporative migration of reflecting common land plant organic sources. The
the lighter hydrocarbons, or biodegradation during low sulfur and asphaltene contents are also
which waxy long chain n-paraffins were consumed. characteristic of non-marine land plant origin,
regardless of whether the source facies are bedded
The Kutei deepwater oils and condensates are also coal on the shelf or coaly laminae in the deepwater
enriched in long chain fatty acids, presumably due to turbidites.
their land plant precursors and relative low maturities.
Similar to wax, these fatty acids were derived from Biomarker distributions obtained from GC-MSD and
plant leaf fatty acids. These fatty acids can react with GC-MSMS also point to a common land plant origin
bicarbonate in production water, causing emulsion by for the deepwater Kutei Basin oils and gas
mechanism similar to soap formation (Gallup et al., condensates. They are characterized by high levels of
2005). oleananes (OL) and bicadinanes (W and T) (Figure 4);
both are molecular markers indicative of angiosperms
Oil, Gas and Condensate Geochemistry (Peters and Moldowan, 1993). More specifically,
bicadinanes are thought to have been derived from
Despite rapid variation in fluid types and properties in resins of the angiosperm family, Dipterocapaceae
the deepwater Kutei Basin, the underlying genetic (van Aarssen et al., 1990). Over 120 species of
characteristics of the oils and condensates are Dipterocarpaceae are still extant in Indonesia,
remarkably similar. Molecular (biomarker) ratios vary including Kalimantan. They occupy the inland fluvial
widely even within a well but they all fall in the valley and, more importantly, form high canopies on
domain of a common land-plant origin. Figure 3 hills and mountains. Dipterocarp trees are prolific
displays the gas chromatograms of select oil and resin producers, which are resistant to biodegradation
condensate samples. The n-paraffin envelopes of the and, once solidified, they could have been transported

through the ancient Mahakam River into the of almost pure methane, from the Pliocene reservoirs
Makassar Strait. Other resins may be preserved in have 13C values of ca. -75 (o/oo), likely resulting
leaves and woody fragments (e.g. those in resin duct), from biogenic origin.
which were eventually deposited on the Kutei shelf
and in deepwater. Land plant organic matter derived Source Rock Organic Richness
from the hinterland would have been mixed with
those from the coastal environments which were One of the most striking source rock characteristics of
dominated by mangrove, nypa, other palms and back- the deepwater Kutei Basin is the abundance of land
swamp trees (Bob Morley, personal communications). plant organic materials easily observable in
The remains of these plant organic assemblages led to conventional cores. Frequent occurrences of parallel
the formation of non-marine type III and II kerogens coaly laminae, chaotic coaly laminae and fine land
(despite the fact that they were eventually deposited plant debris in sands and shales are easily revealed in
in the deep marine environment). Another suite of the cores. The organic-rich laminae tend to be
molecular markers indicative of land plant precursors concentrated in the sand-prone facies of turbidites. In
is the lupanoids (Curiale et al., 2005). general, the TOC contents obtained from cutting
analyses of the deepwater Kutei wells are between 1
Relative sterane distributions by GC-MSD and GC- and 2%, with a few exceptions. This relative lack of
MSMS show a C29-sterane dominance over the C27- organic variability, which is in contrast to rapidly
and C28-steranes, which is also characteristic of varying organics observed on conventional core
petroleum derived from land plant sources (Figure 5). samples, is largely due to the 60-ft compositing of
In the GC-MSMS analyses, n-propyl-C30-steranes, cutting samples; organic facies variations occur in
which are indicative of certain types of marine algae, millimeter to centimeter scales in the deepwater Kutei
are absent suggesting no observable marine Basin. Core analyses at a tighter spacing (1-ft) reveal
contribution. It is reasonable to assume that marine rapid vertical variability in organic abundance. The
phytoplankton including algae should have been TOC contents obtained from core analyses range from
present in the photic zone of the ancient Makassar less than 1% to over 50%. An example is shown in
Strait. The lack of algal remains reaching and Figure 6 from the Ranggas-4 well; the cores from this
becoming preserved in the deepwater sediments may well have an average TOC of 3.03%. This level of
suggest conditions unfavorable for their precipitation organic richness is impressively high as they
and preservation. The strong current in the Makassar represent the average TOC contents of the total strata
Strait and the generally oxic nature of the water body cored, not from the analyses of selected source
probably diminished their chance of preservation in intervals. The high levels of TOC abundance confirm
the sediment column. that the organic richness based on land plant organic
materials are sufficient in supporting commercial
Gas molecular and isotopic analyses are effective accumulations in the deepwater. This can be
tools in determining gas origins (e.g. biogenic versus illustrated by MSSV-pyrolysis and by volumetric
thermogenic) and deriving maturity at generation and modeling (results not shown due to limited space).
possible mixing from multiple sources. A The high-TOC (>4%) core samples are often related
overwhelming majority of the gases in the deepwater to the parallel coaly laminae facies (to be discussed
Kutei Basin have methane 13C values of -35 to -52 below), which are intimately associated the sand-
(o/oo), which, with high gas wetness, are prone facies in turbidites.
characteristic of a thermogenic origin (likely of oil
window maturity) (Whiticar, 1994). Presumably they The lack of bedded coals in the deepwater is in
were sourced from the type III kerogens, as supported striking contrast to those on the shelf and onshore,
by the biological markers in the gas-associated where bedded coals are abundant. The absence of
condensates. A subordinate number of gases exhibit bedded coal in the deepwater must have been related
characteristics of biogenic-thermogenic mixing with to the re-distribution of the sediments (including peat
methane 13C values in the range of -55 to -65 (o/oo); and lignite) during turbidity flows, whose turbulent
these gases are mostly reservoired in the shallow currents mixed sand, mud and peat (and lignite) into
Pliocene sands, typically with low condensate yields. thinly-bedded lithologies of sands, coaly laminae and
The thermogenic gases are dominantly reservoired in laminated shale. In hemipelagic mudstones, the land-
upper Miocene turbidite sands. Two gases, made up plant organic matter are finely disseminated and often

oxidized, possibly representing suspension particles for the wax and fatty acids, two primary production
of land-plant or coaly debris deposited during high flow assurance issues, in the oils and condensates of
stand. the deepwater Kutei Basin (Gallup et al., 2005).

Deepwater Organic Facies The lower-right microphotograph in Figure 8 shows

another coaly laminae made up of a train of strongly
There is rapid variation in organic facies in the Kutei yellow-fluorescing resinite (R) (elliptical resin beads)
Basin deepwater turbidites, as is evident in the bound within a thin band of vitrinite (V). In this
conventional cores. To date, at least three organic laminae, there is however no convincing evidence
facies have been recognized, including (1) the parallel that it is a leaf fragment, as they are not bound by
coaly laminae facies, (2) the chaotic coaly laminae cutinite covering the upper and lower epidermis. The
facies, and (3) the laminated shale facies. relatively lower densities of the resinite and cutinite
macerals in the coaly laminae may have been
Parallel coaly laminae facies: Figure 7 displays the instrumental in their relative enrichment in the tail-
photographs of two polished core plugs taken from end of the turbidite. Resinite, in addition to cutinite,
the Gendalo-3 well (upper right and lower right is one of the most important liptinite macerals in the
photos); they reveal parallel coaly laminae deepwater, which by themselves are oil prone.
interbedded with very thin layers of turbidite sand. Surprisingly, few sporinite (spore and pollen)
Per the origin of these organic laminae, particles and no alginite are observed in the
morphologically, the most plausible explanation deepwater cores.
would be that they are remains of leaf fragments,
since there are no other plant parts that would easily It is significant also to make reference to the resinous
explain the abundance of the flaky laminae. Tracing materials and the molecular characteristics of the oils
of the thin coaly laminae on the polished core plugs and gas-associated liquids in the deepwater. Two
indicate that their sizes are mostly in the 0.5 to 1 forms of resinite are frequently observed including
centimeter range, sizes comparable to peatified leaf the typical yellow fluorescing beads (resinite) (lower
fragments observed on the modern Mahakam Delta right, Figure 8), and the intensely greenish-
(left photo, Figure 7). It is conceivable that these fluorescing fluorinite (upper right, Figure 8). Other
peatified leaf fragments could have been transported resinous materials may be dispersed within the
into the deepwater Makassar Strait by turbidity vitrinite and mineral matrix. Some of these resinous
currents, leading to the flaky coaly laminae (Figure 7). materials may be related to the bicadinanes from the
Dipterocarpaceae family (van Aarssen et al., 1990).
Geochemically, the parallel coaly laminae facies are
organic rich (6.44 and 7.01% TOC, respectively for Also illustrated in Figure 8 (left) is a modified van
the plugs shown in Figure 7), and relatively hydrogen Krevelen diagram plotting the hydrogen versus
rich (with hydrogen indices of 241 and 300 mg HC/g oxygen indices of core samples from the Gendalo-3
TOC). These kerogens are type III/II, which are well. The diagram suggests that a substantial
capable of generating gas and volatile oil. Light proportion of the coaly laminae facies is comprised of
microscopy of an oriented core block (11646.92 ft-md) type II kerogens which are volatile-oil prone. The
reveals that the coaly laminae are made up of thin facies can have hydrogen index values ranging from
vitrinite (V) bands intimately associated with cutinite less than 100 to over 400 (mg HC/g TOC). The
(C) and resinite (R) (Figure 8); the upper-right higher HI samples likely contain higher
microphotograph shows two cutinites (yellow concentrations of liptinite macerals. The parallel
fluorescing) closely interbedded with thin bands of coaly laminae facies are likely the most important
vitrinite (non-fluorescing). These thin bands of organic facies in contributing to the gas and oil
cutinite and vitrinite likely had formed from a leaf hydrocarbon accumulations in the deepwater Kutei
fragment. The cutinite was likely derived from the Basin.
leafy cuticles associated the upper and lower
epidermis whereas the vitrinite bands may have Chaotic coaly laminae facies: This facies contains
formed from gelified lignin/cellulose of the veins and individual coaly laminae in more or less random
the parenchyma cells inside the leaf. The leafy orientations. These individual coaly laminae are
cutinite macerals are suspected also to be responsible embedded in a sand matrix and, microscopically, fine

sand grains are often seen to have deformed or even analyses). Thus, Ro corrections must be applied in
broken the flaky vitrinite laminae. This facies is very maturity assessment and thermal/generation modeling.
interesting yet the most puzzling of all. In bulk DST temperatures, geothermal history and kerogen
chemistry from Rock-Eval pyrolysis, the source-rock kinetics are necessary considerations to understand
parameters do not resemble the parallel coaly laminae hydrocarbon generation and maturity. Figure 9
facies discussed above. It has low TOC contents (0.5- displays the measured Ro, the modeled Ro and the
2.0%) and low hydrogen indices (80 to 180 mg HC/g burial/generation histories of a deepwater Kutei Basin
TOC) (Figure 8). These properties are gas-condensate well (Gendalo-2). A slightly revised top oil
prone. Morphologically the chaotic coaly laminae window (0.55% Ro instead of 0.60% Ro) is chosen
resemble leaf fragments; however, there is little leaf to reflect the low activation energies of the resinous
chemistry in these laminae. The origin of these materials.
chaotically-oriented vitrinite laminae is unclear.
The rate of thermal decomposition from kerogens into
Laminated shale facies: The TOC content of this oil and gas depends on the chemical structure and
facies varies from 0.4 to 2% but mostly between 1- composition of a kerogen assemblage. This rate of
2% . This facies can be intimately interbedded with reaction governs the quantity of hydrocarbons
the parallel coaly laminae facies and very thin layers generated at different levels of thermal maturity.
of sand. Hand-picked samples have shown that the Kerogens from the deepwater cores were determined
TOC content can be over 2%. The hydrogen indices for kinetic properties. The activation energies
are typically near 100 (mg HC/g TOC), which may populate over a broad range from 42 to 66 kcal/mole
vary from 80 to 180 (mg HC/g TOC) (Figure 8). with a mode at 52 kcal/mole, a distribution
Bulk chemical kerogen typing of this facies suggests characteristic of type III kerogen. Small differences
type III organic assemblages. Under the light are however observed between the deepwater Kutei
microscope, the terrigenous (laminated) shale facies Basin kerogens and those typical of humic coals (type
are enriched in clays, silts with vitrinite wisps. Unlike III). The low activation energies between 42-46
the parallel coaly laminae facies, the vitrinite bands in kcal/mol in the deepwater Kutei kerogens likely
this facies are thin and short, and are more properly reflect the presence of resinous materials, which are
characterized as microscopic wisps. Liptinite observed by kerogen microscopy and by indication
macerals such as cutinite and resinite may appear from the resin biomarkers.
sporadically, but relatively rare. This facies is largely
gas-condensate prone, though the chemistry of the These newly acquired kerogen kinetics from the
condensate may be oil like. In more distal shale deepwater Kutei Basin were applied to 1-D thermal
facies, the organics are comprised of very fine and generation modeling. The results show that, for
vitrinite particles and occasionally associated with both gas and oil, the onset of hydrocarbon generation
recycled vitrinite. occurs near the top mid-Miocene (KR-80 or X4)
(Figure 9). Significant hydrocarbon generation also
Hydrocarbon Generation occurs within the mid-Miocene strata. These strata
correspond to the early pulse of intense coal
Sufficient overburden for thermal maturation is a deposition on the ancient Mahakam Delta, which
critical risk in deepwater exploration. To evaluate the likely would also have led to the abundance of coaly
source rock maturity of the deepwater Kutei Basin, laminae in the deepwater Kutei Basin. The kerogen
cutting samples from numerous deepwater Kutei kinetics were also employed to model cumulative gas
Basin wells were determined for vitrinite reflectance and liquid (condensate) hydrocarbon generation for
(Ro). Results overall suggests that a Ro value of the mid-Miocene source strata. Generation modeling
0.60% (top oil window) is reached at nearby 9,500 estimates that the source rocks in the mid-Miocene
(1500) tvdbml. Given the water depths (2000 to generated, on average, about 116 mg of gas and 36
over 5500 ft) of the wells, top oil window is often mg of liquid per gram of TOC. This would translate
not reached by drilling. Measured Ro is observed to to cumulative GOR at generation of about 22,000
increase from 0.20 to 0.55-0.60% for most wells. (scf/stb) or a CGR (condensate gas ratio) of 45
Furthermore, Ro values of the deepwater Kutei Basin bbl/mmscf, indicating an overall gas condensate
are thought to have been suppressed (Joe Curiale, system. It is absolutely critical to recognize that the
personal communications based on VIRF and FAMM oil versus gas composition of a field is not only

dependent on the source facies (primary process) at their pathways to different source pods as well as re-
generation, but also on post-expulsion secondary/ migration of fluids would bring about complex
tertiary processes such as migration fractionation, interbedding of oil and gas pays. These same
tertiary re-migration, gas leakage and differential processes could also have distorted or even reversed
migration rates. gas compositional trends with depth.

Migration, Fractionation and Gas Leakage PETROLEUM SYSTEM SYNOPSIS AND

PVT experiments of constant volume depletion (CVD)
illustrate that, in order for a source system of A petroleum system model is proposed for the
dominantly gas condensate prone kerogen to have sourcing, migration, fractionation and distribution of
formed an oil field, many iterations of phase oils and gases in the deepwater Kutei Basin. The
segregation, fractionation and gas leakage had to source rocks are comprised largely of type III
occur. The Kutei Basin is a gas-rich basin with large kerogens with subordinate type II, a quality consistent
oil reserves. Cumulative recoverable reserves for the with being gas condensate to volatile oil prone.
entire basin, if hypothetically placed in a single Deepwater organic facies (most importantly the
container, would lead to a GOR of ca. 13,000 scf/stb. parallel coaly laminae) vary in millimeter to
This would be a gas condensate fluid. However, centimeter scales, but statistically the cumulative
empirical observation in the Kutei Basin suggests that source facies of all the strata maturing into the
the relative distribution of oil versus gas is not hydrocarbon generation windows overall have high
uniform, ranging from gas to oil fields. Structural gas liquid ratios (GLR) (e.g. 15000-25000 scf/stb
observation reveals that the intensely faulted fields based on generation modeling and pyrolysis
are often enriched in oils, whereas those poorly experiments). In the Middle (and Lower) Miocene
faulted are dominantly gas. This empirical source kitchens where pressure and temperature are
observation remains valid into the deepwater Kutei significantly higher than the dew points of the high
Basin that the oil fields including Seno, Merah Besar GLR fluids, single-phase expulsion and migration
and Ranggas are intensely faulted, whereas the gas occurred (Figure 10). Fluid movement took place
fields including Gehem, Gendalo and Gula are very along faults, shale fractures and local sand bodies. As
poorly faulted. these fluids migrated and charged upper Miocene
turbidite reservoirs, where pressure and temperature
Idealized migration fractionation of fluid would lead declined to below fluid dew point, a thin oil leg was
to well-defined depth trends in gas composition, formed (Figure 10). Tertiary migration of the vapor
condensate yield and fluid type driven by buoyancy (gas) phase into shallow Upper Miocene and Pliocene
and differential migration rates. Higher condensate reservoirs formed gas condensate pays. As gas
yields are tested in the deeper gas pays, and low-GOR leakage happened episodically or gradually over
waxy oils are discovered underlying the gases (e.g. geologic time, pressure declined and retrograde
Gehem and Gula fields). Intuitively, these waxy oils condensation of liquid occurred in the reservoirs.
may represent the residual pools, while the associated
gas and condensate migrated further up the section. Pressure accommodation during gas leakage and
tertiary re-migration, in geologic time, allowed more
Such simple depth trends, however, are more often fluids to move from the source kitchens into the
(than not) disturbed and distorted by crossing deeper and then shallower reservoirs, a process
migration pathways, migration timing and multiple automatically replenishing itself through multiple
episodes of mixing. This can result in complicated iterations. In highly faulted fields, this process of
occurrences of fluid types (i.e. interbedded oil and gas) tertiary re-migration, gas leakage and replenishing
and gas compositions (alternate wet/dry gases). In charge allowed oil enrichment both in deep and
highly faulted areas such as Ranggas and Seno, shallow reservoirs (e.g. Seno and Ranggas). In
interbedded oil and gas pays are encountered, and contrast, in poorly faulted fields such as the Gehem,
there is not an obvious C2+/C1 trend with depth. It is Gendalo and Gula fields, the process of pressure
easy to comprehend that, over millions of years accommodation (by gas leakage and tertiary
during which oil/gas generation and migration migration) was limited. Pressure accommodation for
occurred, detailed routing of fluid movements and more fluids to move up the section was thus

constrained, leading to predominantly gas pays with poorly faulted areas, gas leakage and resulting oil
well-defined compositional and fluid-type trends with enrichment were very limited, leading to mostly gas
depth. Residual oils may be found below the gas, condensate fields inherent of the type III source
though of low mobility (high viscosity and low kerogens.
permeability) which limits the economic value of
these deep oils, particularly in a deepwater operating

Prohibiting complex migration mixing and charging, The authors would like to thank Unocal Indonesia and
the well-defined compositional trends of C2+/C1 and its partner Eni for approval to publish this study.
gas to oil may be explained by vapor-liquid They would like to acknowledge the deepwater
partitioning (phase equilibrium) in the reservoirs exploration team in Unocal Indonesia for sample
(while in residence) and differential migration rates collections, and the exploration management team,
during fluid movement according to Darcys law (q/A Gary Christensen, Jim Friberg, Joel Alnes, Tim
= -k/*(dP/dX) where q is flow rate, A flow area, k Nicholson and Sherman Smith for their enduring
permeability, viscosity, P pressure, X distance). budget support in undertaking the study. The authors
During migration (in transit from source kitchen to also wish to thank Dr. Ron Noble for his review and
reservoir and from reservoir to reservoir), the relative improvement of the text. Specifically, one of us (Rui
rate of migration for each molecule is proportionally Lin) would like to thank his assistant, Ms.
dependent on permeability and inversely proportional Chalermporn M., for her assistance in data
to viscosity (prohibiting inter-molecular interactions). compilation, plotting and the preparation of some
In fields which have few faults, and the fault illustrations in this paper. CoreLab Jakarta, Lemigas,
movements had been largely non-dilated, the high Baseline/DGSI, and Zymax are acknowledged for
viscosity of C2+ relative to C1 allowed the former to their analytical services.
migrate at slower pace, leading to gas pays of
increasing wetness and condensate yield with depth.
In fluid movement along dilated fault movements, REFERENCES
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Curiale, J. A., Lin, R. and Decker, J., 2005. Isotopic
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pressure and temperature; the fluids migrated and the Ganal gas trend deep water Kutei basin,
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three-way closures bound by faults. Tertiary Durand, B. and Oudin, J.L., 1980. Exemple de
migration of gas caps fluids and gas leakage (Figure migration des hydrocarbures dansune serie deltaique:
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Twenty-Sixth Annual Convention, p. 350. 1803.


Kalimantan Deepwater

1 Deepwater Fields:
1. West Seno
2 2. Merah Besar
3. Sadewa
3 4
5 4. Ranggas
5. Gehem
Kalimantan 6. Gula
7. Gendalo

Figure 1 - Kutei Basin Field Location Maps.

1900 26

(a) Gas BTU (b) API Gravity Medium-Low Wax Oils
1700 22
and Gravity
Heating Value (BTU/scf)

Number of Samples
High Wax Oils


700 4

500 0
0.50 0.55 0.60 0.65 0.70 0.75 0.80 0.85 0.90 0.95 1.00 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 58 60
Gas Gravity (Air=1.00) API Gravity
24 0

Medium Wax Oil (c) Wax Content (d) Pour Point
20 -2000

Number of Samples

16 -4000
Low Wax

12 -6000
High Wax Oil
8 -8000

4 -10000

0 -12000
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 -80 -60 -40 -20 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160

Wax (%) Pour Point (oF)

Figure 2 - Deepwater Kutei Basin Gas and Oil Properties.





IP10 IP10

NC10 NC10
IP11 IP11

NC11 NC11

IP13 NC12 NC12


IP14 IP14

NC13 NC13
IP15 IP15
NC14 NC14
IP16 IP16
NC15 NC15

NC16 NC16
IP18 IP18
NC17 IP19 NC17 IP19

IP20 NC18

IP20 NC18
NC19 NC19
NC20 NC20
NC22 NC22
NC23 NC23
NC24 NC24


NC26 NC26
NC27 NC27
NC28 NC28
NC29 NC29
NC30 NC30
NC31 NC31
NC32 NC32
NC33 NC33


Light Condensate

(b) Gehem-2 Well

Waxy Condensate
(a) Gendalo-5 Well

DST Separator Liquid
DST Separator Liquid

Top Depth: 15460 ft-md
Top Depth: 10405 ft-md







IP10 IP10

NC10 NC10
IP11 IP11

NC11 NC11

IP13 NC12 IP13 NC12


IP14 IP14
NC13 NC13
IP15 IP15
NC14 NC14
IP16 IP16
NC15 NC15

NC16 NC16
IP18 IP18
NC17 IP19 NC17 IP19

IP20 NC18 IP20 NC18

NC19 NC19
NC20 NC20
NC22 NC22
NC23 NC23
NC24 NC24

NC25 NC25
NC26 NC26
NC27 NC27
NC28 NC28
NC29 NC29
NC30 NC30
NC31 NC31
Figure 3 - High Resolution Gas Chromatograms of Select Oils and Condensates from the Deepwater Kutei Basin.

NC32 NC32
NC33 NC33
Waxy Oil



NC35 NC35
Medium Wax Oil

NC36 NC36
NC37 NC37
NC38 NC38
(d) Ranggas-4 Well
(c) Seno WSA-C07 Well

NC39 NC39
DST Separator Liquid
Production Separator Liquid

Top Depth: 10405 ft-md


(a) m/z 191, DST (c) m/z 217 DST

Condensate, 15460 ft Condensate, 15460 ft


























50 60 70 80 90 100 110 60 70 80
File: M2040814.D\DATA.MS File: M2040814.D\DATA.MS
24000 D a t e & Time: 5 May 04 8:43 am Date & Time: 5 May 04 8:43 am
(b) m/z 191, MDT (d) m/z 217 MDT

Oil, 16022 ft

Oil, 16022 ft



9000 2000

















50 60 70 80 90 100 110 60 70 80
File: M2040728.D\DATA.MS
Date & Time: 21 Apr 04 8:18 pm File: M2040728.D\DATA.MS
Date & Time: 21 Apr 04 8:18 pm

Figure 4 - GC-MSD Comparing the Biomarkers of a Gehem-2 Condensate (DST-1: 15460 ft) and an Underlying Oil (MDT: 16022 ft) Suggesting
Similar Source Origin

C28-R Sterane Circle: GC-MSMS
Square: GC-MSD

Lacustrine and

Marine Algal
Land Plant

C27-R Sterane C29-R Sterane

Figure 5 - Regular Sterane Distribution Suggesting Land Plant Source for the Deepwater Kutei Oils and

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70


Depth (ft,md)





Figure 6 - TOC Contents of Conventional Cores from a Deepwater Kutei Basin Well (Ranggas-4).



FRAGMENTS MODERN 2.5 CM; TOC: 6.44%, HI: 241, OI: 16)



11655.2 FT (MD) (WIDTH OF VIEW: 2.5
CM; TOC: 7.01%, HI: 300, OI: 12)

Figure 7 - Size and morphologic comparison between peatified leaf fragments and the parallel coaly laminae facies in deepwater cores.

Parallel Coaly Laminae Facies: leafy cutinite (C),
fine resinite (R) and thin bands of vitrinite (V)

Type I


Hydrogen Index (mg HC/g TOC)

Parallel Coaly Laminae Facies: V Gendalo-3, 11646.92
600 Volatile Oil Prone (ft-md) (blue light)

500 Parallel Coaly Laminae Facies: train of yellow

fluorescing resinite (R) in thin vitrinite (V) band
Type II

300 Chaotic Coaly Laminae and

Laminated Shale Facies: V
200 Gas-Condensate Prone
100 Type III

0 Q
0 50 100 150
Oxygen Index (mg CO2/g TOC) Gendalo-3, 11,646.92
(ft-md) (blue light)

Figure 8 - Optical and Chemical Kerogen Typing of the Deepwater Organic Facies.

Gendalo-2 Well Deep 45.4 mW/m2
Gendalo-2 Well Deep 45.4 mW/m2

Fm Mio Pli PleH Fm

0 0

Pleistocene Pleistocene
Z6fs Z6fs
Z4fs (TPliocene) 150(F) Z5fs
Z4sb Z4fs (TPliocene)

Depth Subsurface (feet)

Z3ts (TMiocene) Z3ts (TMiocene)
Depth Subsea (feet)

10000 10000
X0ts 180(F) X0ts
X1sb X1fs
X2sb X2fs
X4sb (mid-Miocene) X4sb (mid-Miocene)
X5ts Maturity X5ts
mat regress
X8sb Early Generation X8sb Early Generation
20000 20000 300(F) 0.55 to 0.8 (%Ro)
330(F) 0.55 to 0.8 (%Ro)
X10sb 390(F) Peak Generation X10sb Peak Generation
0.8 to 1.1 (%Ro)
0.8 to 1.1 (%Ro)
Late Generation
1.1 to 1.3 (%Ro) X13 (lower-Miocene) Late Generation
X13 (lower-Miocene)
1.1 to 1.3 (%Ro)
Wet Gas Condensate
1.3 to 2 (%Ro) Wet Gas Condensate
Dry Gas
1.3 to 2 (%Ro)
30000 30000
2 to 2.5 (%Ro) t=0 Dry Gas
0.1 1 10 20 15 10 5 0 2 to 2.5 (%Ro)
Maturity (%Ro) Age (my)

Figure 9 - 1-D (Thermal) Modeling of a Deepwater Kutei Basin Well.

Gas Leakage and
Mud Volcanoes

Oil Enrichment in
Intensely Faulted

Pliocene Reservoirs:
Gas Condensate

Gas Phase
Tertiary Migration

Upper Miocene Reservoirs:

(Ranggas Field) Fm P-T<Dew Point P-T
Gas-Oil Segregation
Fractured Fault Shallow Gas
Shale Single-Phase Primary and
Secondary Migration
through Carrier Beds, Main Gas
Faults and Shale

Middle-Lower Miocene Deep

Mature Sources:
Fm P-T>>Dew Point P-T
Single Phase Fluid (Gehem Field Model)

Figure 10 - Generation-Migration Model Illustrating Oil/Gas Fractionation and Oil Enrichment via Gas Leakage.


40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 SYSTEM


Syn-Rift Deltaic Coal/Shale

Marine Carbonate SOURCE
Coal/Shale Deepwater Turbidite Coaly OM

Basin Margins Onshore Kutei Deltaic Sand RESERVOIR

Ultra-Deepwater? Deepwater Turbidite Sand
Majority of Kutei (and DW) Deltaic Intraformation Shale SEAL
Oil and Gas
Deepwater Shale/Mudstone
Four Way TRAP
Three Way - Fault
Deep: Single-Phase Fluid via Sand, Shelf: 16+ to 0 mybp GENERATION
Shale Fracture and Fault AND MIGRATION
Formation P-T>>Dew Point P-T
DW: 13-0 mybp, 6-0 mybp critical
Shallow: Multiple-Phase Fluids Gas Leakage
Migration Fractionation, Gas PRESERVATION

X16 KR240-X15 KR160-X13 KR100-X6 KR50-Z3 KR20


Figure 11 - Petroleum System Event Chart for the Kutei Basin.