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Home Studies Eastern Vietnam (Song Hong-Phu Khanh)

 Eastern Vietnam (Song Hong-Phu Khanh)

JMJ I-MAP GIS Product Suite

Eastern Vietnam 01

GIS G&G Project and A3 Hard Copy Report.

This is an in-depth basin/block evaluation of the Song Hong and Phu Khanh Basins of eastern Vietnam. Originally undertaken for the Vietnamese 2007 Bid Round, this study has now been updated to include recent developments, such as the 2009 oil discovery, the White Shark exploration prospect, operated by PXP (Plains Exploration & Production Company), in the Phu Khanh Basin, Block 124. This discovery clearly demonstrates the presence of an active oil system, in an otherwise presumed gas-prone basin, with high CO2 concentrations. Our study in 2007, concluded that despite the Phu Khanh Basin being “a frontier deep water basin that has received only minor exploration activity…….seismic data indicates that all the essential play elements are present for oil and gas production.”

More recently (2013), a well – Cua Lo-1 – has been drilled in Block 105 by ENI, KrisEnergy and Neon, targeting a Mio-Pliocene slope fan and basin floor fan/channel complex. The prospects exhibit high amplitudes and favourable AVO responses interpreted to be gas-charged quartz-rich sand reservoirs within the stacked fan/channel sequences, with the Song Ca river system in a favourable position for input of these clastics. The Cua Lo-1 well was drilled to a measured depth of 2,867 metres, or 2,837 metres total vertical depth subsea. Based on log interpretation, several gas bearing sandstone reservoirs were identified. A drill stem test was conducted on a reservoir evaluated with the largest potential within the prospect. Although gas flowed during the test, the poor reservoir deliverability rate combined with high carbon dioxide content suggests that development of the tested reservoir is uncommercial.

A Miocene carbonate play is well established on the Triton Horst, from blocks 113 to 121, tested by 115A, 117-STB and 118-STB. This includes platform carbonates, reefs and reefal build-ups developed in the early to middle Miocene. These carbonates are very good reservoirs (hundreds of meters of net-pay, porosity of 20-35 %, permeability of hundreds to thousands mD). The carbonates are sealed by thick marine shales to form large four way dip closure. Related to this play are some major gas discoveries have been made in blocks 115, 117, 118 and 119. However, with all these gas discoveries, CO2 is an issue (e.g., 115-A containing 2 TCF with 93% CO2). More recently, Exxonmobil has acquired blocks 117, 118 and 119 off the coast of Danang from BP in 2009. In Block 118, their third well, 118-Ca Voi Xanh-3X, has encountered significant gas. Few details are available, however, it has been suggested that the recoverable resources could be in order of 5 tcf, with approximately 30% CO2. It appears that this discovery has been made outboard of the Early Miocene Triton Horst trend, which was drilled by BP, and within a later second order carbonate/reefal buildup of Mid Miocene age.

It should also be noted that we recognise several other blocks in the Phu Khanh Basin that we regard as having significant hydrocarbon potential, particularly, for oil, with past discoveries downgrading these blocks due largely to the presence of high CO2, volcanics, and a lack of understanding of the basin’s internal geometry.

Based on available seismic and well data, several tectonostratigraphic (sequence) boundaries are recognised and can be correlated in both the Song Hong and Phu Khanh Basins. Together with a detailed understanding of their tectonic and depositional histories, six megasequences have been identified for both basin systems. This megasequence breakdown, in terms of the evolutionary cycle of each basin, has been viewed in a plate tectonic context and, as a result, a new tectonic model is presented for the opening of each basin, with important implications in terms of basin dynamics and heat flow.

Although the megasequences are correlateble from one basin to the next, it is clearly evident that the Song Hong and Phu Khanh Basins strongly contrast in terms of basin architecture. In summary, the Song Hong Basin is extremely deep, with over 18 km of sedimentary fill. Major fault development is only present around the basin margins, with shale diapirism dominating the centre of the basin, which lacks any other structure. The opening of this basin is intimately linked to the controls imposed by the Red River Fault System and associated splays that bound and transect the basin. In contrast, the Phu Khanh Basin’s architecture, as demonstrated by seismic, is characteristic of rift margin development from rifting and passive margin (thermal) subsidence, most likely as a consequence of its intimate spatial and temporal relationship with the opening of the South China Sea. As such, the basin can be separated into an inner shelf, and outer shelf and slope domains.

Due largely to the paucity of seismic data for the region as a whole, particularly for the Phu Khanh Basin and the margins of the Song Hong Basin, a significant amount of time has been spent analysing available potential field data. The resultant qualitative mapping has produced a detailed map of principal crustal lineaments and fault trends, and basement compositional changes, including granitoid basement that may constitute a fractured basement (buried hill) play, as established in the nearby southern Vietnam Cuu Long Basin. In association with this interpretational mapping, 2D gravity models, constrained by seismic, have been generated for each basin.

A Base Tertiary Map for the entire eastern margin of Vietnam has been generated using seismic, well, magnetics and gravity data, and public domain sources, including depth converted TWT maps and georeferenced interpreted seismic profiles. In the deeper, unknown parts of the Song Hong Basin, the 2D gravity modelling has provided an estimate on total sedimentary fill.

A comprehensive investigation of the distribution and quality of both proven and potential source rocks in the offshore basins of eastern Vietnam has been undertaken as a means of determining the spatial and temporal distribution of source families and their accumulation environments, with respect to modern-day analogues. The most likely principal source rock interval in the Song Hong and Phu Khanh basins is the Late Eocene to Early Oligocene section (Dinh Cao/Yacheng Formation) which, in the Song Hong Basin, appears to be laterally extensive. In the Phu Khanh Basin, it is predicted that this source rock interval will be confined to areas of syn-rift activity (graben and half-graben), such as the Quang Nhay Trough. The "southern" Dongfang type condensates recognised are known to have a differing source, and these have been correlated to potential carbonaceous-rich source units from the Miocene Meishan and Huanglui Formations.

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Several burial/maturation models have been generated for both wells and pseudowells. The resultant modelled depths of expulsion for both oil and gas have been used to generate expulsion windows, constrained by the Base Tertiary Mapping.

Spatial and temporal relationships of the essential play elements (e.g., source, reservoir and seal) are presented through a set of seismically-based play cartoons and cross sections.

A large number of play concepts have been identified for both the Song Hong and Phu Khanh Basins, and numerous, attractive trapping styles have been identified from seismic. This diverse array of trapping styles and play concepts are shown through a set of maps, together with numerous prospects and leads defined in both basins.

All mapped interpretational elements and underlying datasets are contained within the GIS project. The A3 hard copy report contains over 150 colour pages.