Inverting Multiple Suites of Thermal Indicator Data to Constrain the Heat Flow History: A Case Study from East Kalimantan, Indonesia
Brett S. Mudford
The determination of an appropriate thermal history in an exploration area is of fundamental importance when attempting to understand the evolution of the petroleum system. In this talk we present the results of a single-well modelling study in which bottom hole temperature data, vitrinite reflectance data and three different biomarker ratio datasets were available to constrain the modelling. Previous modelling studies using biomarker ratios have been hampered by the wide variety of published kinetic parameters for biomarker evolution. Generally, these parameters have been determined either from measurements in the laboratory and extrapolation to the geological setting, or from downhole measurements where the heat flow history is assumed to be known. In the first case ser ous errors can arise because the heating rate is being extrapolated over many orders of magnitude, while in the second case errors can arise if the assumed heat flow history is incorrect. To circumvent these problems we carried out a parameter optimization in which the heat flow history was treated as an unknown in addition to the biomarker ratio kinetic parameters. This method enabled the heat flow history for the area to be determined together with appropriate kinetic parameters for the three measured biomarker ratios. Within the resolution of the data, the heat flow since the early Miocene has been relatively constant at levels required to yield good agreement between predicted and measured subsurface temperatures.
AAPG Search and Discover Article #91019©1996 AAPG Convention and Exhibition 19-22 May 1996, San Diego, California