Yasir Said, Robert Hall & Peter Lunt (Petronas)


This project began in October 2016 and is concerned with sediments and stratigraphy of offshore Sarawak, Malaysia and correlations with onshore Sarawak. It will use seismic data to review basin models and use well samples to characterise light mineral and heavy mineral assemblages of sand samples. Detrital zircons will be dated. The main aim is to determine the provenance of Oligocene to Lower Miocene sediments and improve palaeogeographic models for the region.


Thick Oligocene sands offshore have been interpreted as part of a delta system. However, it is implausible to have a delta prograde over 250 km in a very short time interval or for a delta to be almost 300 km from one end of the coastal plain to the other. A new model is required for these sediments, which were the reservoir and source rocks for recent discoveries, but we lack the basic data with which to build it.

Analysing samples from old and well-known wells will shed important light on the problem. Other plays that will be impacted by this research are the Stage III clastics of Sabah, usually thought of as sand-poor, but locally with oil and gas shows. If a model could indicate where these clastics are richer in sands, it may open up new plays. Some turbidite sand plays on the Sarawak border have never been properly evaluated, again due to lack of basic data.