About This Item

Share This Item

The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


DOI: 10.1306/09152121048

Historical and emerging super basins of Southeast Asia

Emeliana Rice-Oxley1 and Azli Abu-Bakar2

1PETRONAS, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; [email protected]
2PETRONAS, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; [email protected]


Southeast Asia is a region composed of vast archipelagoes with a complex geological setting and tectonic evolution. At its heart lies Sundaland, a heterogeneous collage of tectono-stratigraphic terranes, which came about from the subduction and collision of the surrounding plates with the southern Eurasia since the Paleozoic. Five basins can be categorized as super basins: the Malay, Greater Luconia, Northwest Sabah, Greater Sumatra, and Kutei Basins. Tectonic events controlled many of the locations and orientations of the basins, but local stratigraphic forces have greater controls on the basin fill and, subsequently, the distribution and variation of successful hydrocarbon plays across the region. The main plays include Miocene clastics and carbonates, Oligocene carbonate, and sub-Cenozoic basement. The source rocks are provided by the Eocene–Oligocene lacustrine to marine shales as well as Miocene marine shales. The main traps were mostly formed in the late Miocene to Pliocene from regional inversion events. Significant discoveries are still being made recently, underpinned by challenging dogma and beliefs, replicating success, and innovation. These super basins offer clear paths to monetization given the widespread infrastructures that are managed by experienced companies and host authorities. Despite economic downturns and a push for renewables, the projected demand and trajectory of growth remain intact. Recent government efforts in liberating data access and improving commercial terms are also expected to boost exploration activities, especially in the frontier plays. The region still offers exciting opportunities that are attractive, and it will remain the unique super basin region that has been noted historically and will continue to be in the future.

Pay-Per-View Purchase Options

The article is available through a document delivery service. Explain these Purchase Options.

Protected Document: $10
Internal PDF Document: $14
Open PDF Document: $24

AAPG Member?

Please login with your Member username and password.

Members of AAPG receive access to the full AAPG Bulletin Archives as part of their membership. For more information, contact the AAPG Membership Department at [email protected].