Frontier Exploration on the Continental Shelf of Myanmar – The Role of Tectonics, Palaeodrainage and Earth System Modeling in Reducing Risk and Uncertainty
John M. Jacques Paul J. Markwick, Kerri Wilson, David Wright, and Jon Savage
Getech, Leeds, United Kingdom
Gravity and magnetic data have been used to define the structural configuration of the onshore and offshore basins of Myanmar. This has been used to create a plate tectonic model in order to provide an invaluable insight into the petroleum systems of Myanmar's offshore continental margin basins, particularly in areas with limited seismic and well data. We show how by integrating tectonics, geophysics, geochemistry and sedimentology with GIS technology, we can identify new and extend existing play fairways in these frontier areas and, when combined with innovative techniques, including ‘Earth System Modelling' (e.g., palaeoclimate and drainage analysis), a very powerful exploration tool is created for predicting source, reservoir and seal distribution.
We here focus on the influence of tectonics on landscape dynamics and palaeodrainage, and their implications on source and reservoir distribution and quality in the offshore basins of Myanmar; concentrating on the following critical questions: To what extent does the evolving drainage affect the distribution and potential of source rocks in the offshore areas, compared with those in onshore Central Myanmar Basin (Yaw, Shwezetaw and Okhmintaung Formations)? The offshore area is more gas-prone than the Central Myanmar Basin. Is this a reflection of differences in organic material and depositional setting, and/or burial history of the source? How do changes in the relief and climate of Indo-China and India influence weathering, transport and flux of coarse clastics to the Myanmar margin basins? How has the collision history of the Myanmar Block affected the type and volume of material being transported? What has been the contribution of material from the Indo-Burman Range and Shan Plateau?