Application of integrated vitrinite reflectance and FAMM analyses for thermal maturity assessment of the northeastern Malay Basin, offshore Vietnam: Implications for petroleum prospectivity evaluation

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  • H. I. Petersen
  • N. Sherwood
  • A. Mathiesen
  • Michael Bryld Wessel Fyhn
  • N. T. Dau
  • N. Russell
  • J. A. Bojesen-Koefoed
  • L. H. Nielsen
Several exploration wells have intersected a Cenozoic coal-bearing, fluvial-deltaic mudstone and sandstone succession in the northeastern Vietnamese part of the Malay Basin, and have successfully tested seismically identified direct hydrocarbon indicators (DHIs). The oil and gas/condensate discovery ell 46-CN-1x encountered a _55m thick section of lacustrine mudstones having considerable potential as an oil source. Vitrinite reflectance (VR) measurements from these alginite-bearing rocks introduce several problems in thermal maturity evaluation, including associated VR suppression and delineation of cavings and bitumens. Reliable thermal maturity gradients, however, may be established using a combination of conventional VR measurements and ‘equivalent VR' (EqVR) values derived from the fluorescence alteration of multiple macerals (FAMM) technique. These measurements, performed on dispersed organic matter (DOM) in cuttings from 46-CN-1x, allow separation of low-reflecting bitumens and vitrinite in cavings from indigenous vitrinite and the FAMM results indicate VR suppression of 0.14% in an alginite-bearing mudstone with a high Hydrogen Index value. On the basis of available ‘raw' VR data, a highly irregular maturity trend is determined, with the deepest sample (2675-2680m) having a VR of _0.4%Ro. The EqVR value, however, for the deepest sample is 0.70%. The maturity trend determined from the FAMM data (and VR data, omitting samples having suppressed VR) indicates that the top of the oil window (VR of 0.75%Ro) is located at about 2800m depth. Modelling the geothermal gradient using the EASY%Ro algorithm yields _40 1C/km for both of the two maturity profiles; his is in the low end of the range for the Malay Basin. Modelled temperature histories indicate onset of hydrocarbon generation for the uppermost Oligocene source rocks between 2Ma and present-day, which post-dates trap formation. Seismic facies patterns suggest that lacustrine oil-prone units are in he oil window in the same graben complex a few km NW of the investigated well, and these rocks are likely to be the source of the hydrocarbons found in the well. A more widespread occurrenceof hydrocarbons sourced from this kitchen is indicated by other discoveries and mapping of DHIs in the area.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMarine and Petroleum Geology
Pages (from-to)319-332
Publication statusPublished - 2008

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Vitrinite reflectance, FAMM, Thermal maturity, Oil, Malay Basin, Vietnam

ID: 10878672