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Home Studies Onshore Rift Basins of Thailand

 Onshore Rift Basins of Thailand

GIS-based G&G Database and Report

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JMJ Petroleum has generated a GIS-based exploration database for the Onshore Rift Basins of Thailand. The resultant GIS G&G project database and accompanying hard copy A3 report cover the following basins:


Northern onshore rift basins

Li, Chiang Mai, Lampang, Mae Moh, Phrae, Nan, Pua, Pha Yao-Chung Khum, Fang, Mai Sai (Chiang Rai), and Chiang Khong-Thoeng Basins


Southern onshore rift basins

Chao Phraya Basin Complex (including the Kamphaeng Saen, Suphan Buri, Thon Buri, Ayutthaya, Nakhon Sawan and Lad Yao Sub-basins)

Phitsanulok Basin Complex (including the Sukhothail Depression and Phichai and Nong Bua Sub-basins)

Phetchabun Basin Complex (including the Wichian Buri, Nong Chaeng, Khon Khwang, Chai Mongkhon and Northern Phetchabun Sub-basins)


Thoen, Mae Sot, and Mae Lamao Basins

Over 50 Late Tertiary basins occur along the N-S trending onshore Thailand rift system

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Onshore Rift Basins of Thailand – A Summary

Onshore Rift Basins of Thailand

Format:
GIS G&G Project and A3 Hard Copy Report.

Description:

A Petroleum Systems Review of the Onshore Rift Basins of Thailand.


Thailand has the highest concentration of syn-extrusion Late Tertiary rift basins in the SE Asia region (>50 basins). Although, in general, the Late Oligocene-Middle Miocene basins appear to have evolved largely under E-W extension, rotation of the extension direction to NW-SE and NE-SW occurred periodically, and was episodically interrupted by several regional and local inversion events. This has given rise to a variety of structural types, from extensional through to compressional in origin, with a large number of basins showing clear evidence of strike-slip activity. Despite many basins, particularly in the north, having overall sigmoidal geometries, there appears to be no indication that the basins are fault bounded by throughgoing major strike-slip faults or that most of the basins evolved as pull-aparts, with NE-SW and NW-SE fault trends displaying oblique-slip consistent with E-W extension or pure dip slip displacements.


In general, the southern and northern Thailand basins differ in terms of their tectonic evolution, with the variables being the onset and duration of extension and the magnitude and timing of inversion; with local, important differences occurring throughout the northern Thailand rift province. This is also true for the timing and frequency of inversion episodes within and between basins, which varies considerably within northern Thailand. Some basins have undergone five or six episodes of inversion, which span the Late Oligocene-Early Miocene to the Plio-Pleistocene, while other basins appear to have undergone only one episode of inversion. The most widespread inversion event in northern Thailand occurred during the Plio-Pleistocene and is associated with a NW-SE to NE-SW oriented maximum horizontal compression direction. This event is most likely related to Himalayan escape tectonics and the switch from left lateral to right lateral displacement on the Red River Fault Zone and associated splays.


As mentioned, over 50 Late Tertiary basins occur in this N-S trending onshore Thailand rift system. Until this study, many of these basins were poorly defined, not only in terms of their tectonic and structural setting, but also in terms of their actual geometry and extent, let alone their structural configuration and depth. This is of course largely due to their remoteness and scarcity of data. However, using a variety of datasets, such as detailed elevation data (SRTM), available 1:250,000 and 1:50,000 geology maps, Landsat, and potential field data, we have been able to rigorously define the structural and geological framework of the entire onshore region.


Another principal objective of this study has been to generate a full suite of derivatives from the aeromagnetic data available for onshore areas, and to qualitatively interpret this data to map structural and compositional features. This, combined with the SRTM (elevation) mapping of tectonic, structural and geological features, has allowed us to define:


  1. All Late Oligocene-Middle Miocene rift basins.
  2. Fundamental strike-slip anomalies. For example, the Mae Ping and Chao Fault Zones, dip-slip faults, to major and minor discontinuities (truncations and offsets of anomalies), such as the Nan-Uttaradit Suture Zone (ophiolite trend).
  3. The spatial extent of basic to intermediate volcanics and intrusive rocks that range in age from Middle Palaeozoic to Late Tertiary (e.g., Lampang-Phrae, Nan River, Loei-Phetchabun (-Lop Buri) and Central Volcanic Belts).

The most important of these “volcanic belts”, in terms of the hydrocarbon producing basins of onshore Thailand, is the Central Volcanic Belt and the Tertiary volcanic and intrusive (predominantly doleritic) bodies it contains. These are currently a principal target in such basins as the Phetchabun (Wichian Buri Sub-basin), where doleritic sills act as highly fractured reservoirs. These intrusives not only constitute a very important multiple fractured play system, but the heat associated with their intrusion can be shown by maturation modelling to have had a profound effect on source rock maturation and associated hydrocarbon generation/expulsion.


In the oil-producing basins, dominated by Type “1” Oils („Freshwater‟ lacustrine sourced oils), it can be concluded that a combination of highly oil-prone lacustrine source rocks and extraordinarily high geothermal gradients has facilitated oil generation from relatively shallow burial depths. The timing of crustal attenuation and associated increases in heat flow during the onset of rifting, and more localised events, such as volcanic intrusive and extrusive activity are therefore key. In light of this, we have generated a regional heat flow map that can be used, in conjunction with the mapped occurrences of Tertiary intrusive activity, to identify areas with high geothermal gradients and, in turn, basins that are likely to have reached sufficient maturity, despite the shallow depth of burial of their source rocks.


Using the study information and findings as outlined above, the exploration potential of the pre-, syn- and post-rift sections of the Tertiary rift basins of onshore Thailand have been reviewed and evaluated. The findings of this investigation have been used to rank the basins of interest in terms of predicted exploration risk and uncertainty.


The following southern onshore rift basins of Thailand have been evaluated:

  • The Chao Phraya Basin Complex (including the Kamphaeng Saen, Suphan Buri, Thon Buri, Ayutthaya, Nakhon Sawan and Lad Yao Sub-basins); Phitsanulok Basin Complex (including the Sukhothail Depression and Phichai and Nong Bua Sub-basins); Phetchabun Basin Complex (including the Wichian Buri, Nong Chaeng, Khon Khwang, Chai Mongkhon and Northern Phetchabun Sub-basins); Thoen Basin; Mae Sot Basin; and Mae Lamao Basin.

The following northern onshore rift basins of Thailand have been evaluated:

  • The Li, Chiang Mai, Lampang, Mae Moh, Phrae, Nan, Pua, Pha Yao-Chung Khum, Fang, Mai Sai (Chiang Rai), and Chiang Khong-Thoeng Basins.

Onshore Rift Basins of Thailand Onshore Rift Basins of Thailand