--> --> Abstract: Exploration in a Frontier Area – Integrating Old Idea and New Technology “A Case Study from Mizoram Fold Belt Area of Assam-Arakan Basin, India”, by Ajoya N. Borthakur and Jafrull P. Ahmed; #90124 (2011)

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Making the Next Giant Leap in Geosciences
April 10-13, 2011, Houston, Texas, USA

Exploration in a Frontier Area – Integrating Old Idea and New Technology “A Case Study from Mizoram Fold Belt Area of Assam-Arakan Basin, India”

Ajoya N. Borthakur1; Jafrull P. Ahmed1

(1) NEF Project, OIL INDIA LIMITED, Dibrugarh, India.

The Assam-Arakan sedimentary basin is a shelf-slope-basinal system which is among the 76 priority provinces identified by the U.S. Geological Survey World Energy Assessment Team (2000).

Mizoram is part of the Assam - Arakan basin situated in the central part of Tripura-Cachar-Mizoram-Chitagong Fold belt . Outcrop and regional correlations suggests the presence of reservoir units. Geochemical data and hydrocarbon gas seeps suggest that a source rock or source rocks may be present. Hydrocarbons have been generated; therefore an active hydrocarbon system may be present. All of this information suggests that the area can be considered as a legitimate area for hydrocarbon exploration. However, the area has high-risk exploration potential and clearly a rank wildcat area.

Around 34% of the sedimentary basin of India are still under explored which mainly fall in geologically complex deep sea off-shore and logistically difficult on shore basins. Exploration for hydrocarbon in these areas requires not only adoption of state of art technology but combination of technology with conventional proven methods which were successfully used by our predecessors way back in the early part of the nineteenth century before the advent of modern technology and discovered large numbers of oil fields all over the world.

The area under study is so far vastly unexplored mainly due to roughed topography and difficult logistics. The entire area is mountainous and hilly with precipitous slopes forming deep gorges. Elevation of the hills ranges from 300m to 1500m with inclination ranges from 300 to 800. In view of the difficult logistics, the seismic data acquisition was possible mainly along crooked lines which ultimately resulted in poor data quality.

Therefore, an integrated approach was felt necessary where conventional hydrocarbon exploration methods like geological field mapping, drilling of geologic information bore holes (GIB), seepage analysis, drainage anomaly analysis etc in combination with the advance seismic processing & interpretation, amplified geochemical survey, GIS, Satellite Imagery etc were used. This integrated approach has resulted in identification of exploration targets now concealed by the complex surface geology which other wise would not have been possible. Successful drilling of these targets with prognosticated resource potential of around 25 TCF (P50) will open up a new vista of hydrocarbon exploration in the complex fold-thrust belt areas.