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Ramba and Tanjung Laban oil fields, located about 70 km northwest of Palembang in southern Sumatra, produce from wackestones and packstones in the lower Miocene Batu Raja Formation. Reservoir rocks are part of relatively small, undolomitized, low-relief carbonate buildups that accumulated on a widespread platform facies. Rocks in the platform facies are dominantly shaly nodular wackestones, whereas rocks in the buildup are dominantly nonshaly wackestones and packstones. The regional setting, the abundance of micrite in the buildups, the absence of both coralline algae and marine cements, and the geometry of the buildups suggest that noncalcareous algae and/or sea grasses were the dominant organisms responsible for forming these mudbanks.
The absence of shale in the mudbanks has been important in forming the secondary porosity that yields most of the oil. Vugs and molds form as much as 30% of the rock in the best reservoir zones. Fractures formed by dissolution and collapse greatly enhance reservoir quality in many places. Another type of porosity, microintercrystalline, occurs within "chalky" micrites scattered through the upper part of the buildups. Porosity in these micrites reaches 25%, but permeability is very low.
The recent discovery of oil in these low-energy carbonate mudbanks of the Batu Raja Formation has opened a new exploration play in the South Sumatra basin. Many similar buildups will likely be found as exploration continues and the basin's paleogeography becomes better understood.
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