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New Source and Seal Types for Malaysia: The Key to Unlocking the Oil Potential of Deepwater Northwest Borneo

Sam Algar1 and Doug Waples2
1 Murphy Sabah Oil Company, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2 Independent Consultant

The discovery of the deepwater Kikeh oil field overturned the widely held belief that the NW Borneo deepwater play was “gas-prone”. This paper will present the data and geological principles that explain why this area has such significant oil potential and hence why it has become one of the most successful oil plays in the recent history of Malaysian oil exploration.

A new source rock has been discovered and with the aid of extensive conventional coring, fluid sampling and geochemical evaluation, that Murphy and our partners Carigali have done, a link to the oils and gases reservoired in the deepwater discoveries can be clearly demonstrated. These data point to an entirely new charge system for Malaysia which can be demonstrated from 2D basin modeling to be the likely primary charge mechanism for the deepwater oil discoveries made so far.

Further laboratory analyses of core material combined with extensive pressure tests from Kikeh and other Murphy-Carigali discoveries have put the final piece of the puzzle together by proving that the seal type is a crucial element of the oil story.