Satyana et al., 1999 – Tectonic controls on the hydrocarbon habitats of the Barito, Kutei, and Tarakan Basins, Eastern Kalimantan, Indonesia: major dissimilarities in adjoining basins

Tectonic controls on the hydrocarbon habitats of the Barito, Kutei, and Tarakan Basins, Eastern Kalimantan, Indonesia: major dissimilarities in adjoining basins

Awang Harun Satyana*, Djoko Nugroho*, Imanhardjo Surantoko*
* JOB PERTAMINA—Santa Fe Salawati, Menara Mutia, 10th Floor, Jalan Gatot Subroto 9-11, Jakarta12930, Indonesia

Journal of Asian Earth Sciences Volume 17 (1–2), 99–122.


The Barito, Kutei, and Tarakan Basins are located in the eastern half of Kalimantan (Borneo) Island, Indonesia. The basins are distinguished by their different tectonic styles during Tertiary and Pleistocene times. In the BaritoBasin, the deformation is a consequence of two distinct, separate, regimes. Firstly, an initial transtensional regime during which sinistral shear resulted in the formation of a series of wrench-related rifts, and secondly, a subsequent transpressional regime involving convergent uplift, reactivating old structures and resulting in wrenching, reverse faulting and folding within the basin. Presently, NNE–SSW and E–W trending structures are concentrated in the northeastern and northern parts of the basin, respectively. In the northeastern part, the structures become increasingly imbricated towards the Meratus Mountains and involve the basement. The western and southern parts of the Barito Basin are only weakly deformed. In the Kutei Basin, the present day dominant structural trend is a series of tightly folded, NNE–SSW trending anticlines and synclines forming the Samarinda Anticlinorium which is dominant in the eastern part of the basin. Deformation is less intense offshore. Middle Miocene to Recent structural growth is suggested by depositional thinning over the structures. The western basin area is uplifted, large structures are evident in several places. The origin of the Kutei structures is still in question and proposed mechanisms include vertical diapirism, gravitational gliding, inversion through regional wrenching, detachment folds over inverted structures, and inverted delta growth-fault system. In the Tarakan Basin, the present structural grain is typified by NNE–SSW normal faults which are mostly developed in the marginal and offshore areas. These structures formed on older NW–SE trending folds and are normal to the direction of the basin sedimentary thickening suggesting that they developed contemporaneously with deposition, as growth-faults, and may be the direct result of sedimentary loading by successive deltaic deposits. Older structures were formed in the onshore basin, characterized by the N–S trending folds resulting from the collision of the Central Range terranes to the west of the basin. Hydrocarbon accumulations in the three basins are strongly controlled by their tectonic styles. In the Barito Basin, all fields are located in west-verging faulted anticlines. The history of tectonic inversion and convergent uplift of the Meratus Mountains, isostatically, have caused the generation, migration, and trapping of hydrocarbons. In the Kutei Basin, the onshore Samarinda Anticlinorium and the offshore Mahakam Foldbelt are prolific petroleum provinces, within which most Indonesian giant fields are located. In the offshore, very gentle folds also play a role as hydrocarbon traps, in association with stratigraphic entrapment. These structures have recently become primary targets for exploratory drilling. In the Tarakan Basin, the prominent NW–SE anticlines, fragmented by NE–SW growth-faults, have proved to be petroleum traps. The main producing pools are located in the downthrown blocks of the faults. Diverse tectonic styles within the producing basins of Kalimantan compel separate exploration approaches to each basin. To discover new opportunities in exploration, it is important to understand the structural evolution of neighbouring basins.

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