--> --> Abstract: Constraints on Thermal Histories Based on the Results of the Tarim-1 Well, Papua New Guinea, by S. A. Hermeston and K. S. Weissenburger; #91015 (1992).

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ABSTRACT: Constraints on Thermal Histories Based on the Results of the Tarim-1 Well, Papua New Guinea


The Tarim-1 well was drilled by Du Pont E&P in 1990 in the foreland basin on the western end of the Papuan basin of Papua New Guinea. Tarim-1 is the western most penetration of the early Cretaceous Toro Sandstone Formation which is the primary reservoir in the Papuan basin. The partially penetrated late Jurassic Imburu Formation contains the primary source interval for hydrocarbons discovered in the Papuan Fold Belt. Data from this well provide important constraints to models of burial and thermal histories in this portion of the foreland basin. These, in turn, are useful to help predict reservoir characteristics and source maturation and generation histories away from well control.

The Tarim-1 burial history was constructed using offset well control and surface outcrops in addition to published and in-house biostratigraphic data. Conductivity values were estimated based on wellsite lithology descriptions. Vitrinite reflectance data was used to calibrate thermal models.

A present day temperature gradient of 3.34 degrees centigrade per 100 m was measured in Tarim-1. Apatite fission track analysis indicates the present temperature profile is as recent as 1 mybp based on fission tracks annealing temperatures of approximately 90 degrees centigrade. Local intrusives have been dated at 1 mybp and are developed within a 15-km radius of the well.

Modeled heat flow values for the Mesozoic range from 38 to 46 mW/sq m; Tertiary heat flow values range from 23 to 38 mW/m2. These very low Tertiary values are required to match calculated with measured maturity data. These values may be partly rationalized by the high sedimentation rates during this time. However, a major contributing factor is likely the inability of currently employed modeling algorithms to adequately model maturation profiles that develop during relatively recent extreme burial histories. In order to match measured temperature data, heat flow values much be increased from 23 to 63 mW/m2 over the last million years.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91015©1992 AAPG International Conference, Sydney, N.S.W., Australia, August 2-5, 1992 (2009)