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Tertiary Sarawak Basin Origin: A Small Step in Demystifying the Ambiguity

Abstract

The Sarawak Basin is one of the most prolific hydrocarbon bearing basins in South East Asia. However, extensive debates and hypotheses concerning its origin have perplexed the Asian scientific community for long. The quest for revealing the birth of this basin is an amalgamation of various data and studies. Subsidence history can throw light on the tectonic origin of a basin. This research work attempts to contribute a fundamental step to paving the way for solving the mysteries of the basin's origin. The objective of generating a tectonic subsidence plot from offshore well data is met by primarily calculating density, initial porosity and Athy's factor in order to perform a 1D Airy backstripping which eliminates effects of sediment compaction, water and sediment loading. Results obtained from the analysis using the above mentioned factors, observes variations from previous works conducted on tectonic subsidence and the origin of Sarawak basin. The results from wells distributed within offshore Sarawak Basin observe tectonic activity with rapid subsidence initially and a gradual decrease in subsidence rate with time, indicative of a rift origin following the McKenzie model.