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Org. Geochem. Vol. 17, No. 3, pp.

363--374,1991
Printed in Great Britain.All rights reserved

0146-6380/91 $3.00+ 0.00


Copyright 1991PergamonPress plc

Petroleum generation and migration from Talang Akar coals and


shales offshore N.W. Java, Indonesia
R. A. NOBLE, 1 C. H. Wu 2 and C. D. ATKINSON2
'ARCO Oil and Gas Co., 2300 West Plano Parkway, Piano, TX ?50?5, U.S.A.
2Atlantic Richfield Indonesia Inc., Panin Bank Building, Jakarta, Indonesia
(Received 10 August 1990; accepted 25 September 1990)

The Oligocene Talang Akar formation is the major source for petroleum (oil and gas) in the
Ardjuna sub-basin. Source rock quality varies within the deltaic to marginal marine complex, with coals
deposited on the lower delta plain being distinctly oil-prone, whereas the surrounding delta plain shales
are largely gas-prone. Shales and "drifted" coals laid down in marine-influenced interdistributary bay
environments show increasingly oil-prone characteristics, possibly due to preferential transport of
hydrogen-rich plant components to more distal setting. Molecular characteristics of the coals and shales
are similar, with higher plant (angiosperm) biomarkers and their aromatic derivatives occurring widely.
Kinetic studies of hydrocarbon generation, and simulated maturation experiments using hydrous
pyrolysis, indicate that the delta plain coals are the major source for crude oils in the basin, with a
secondary, but minor contribution from marine-influencedinterdistributary bay shales. Delta plain shales
are interpreted to expel gaseous products only. The stratigraphic and spatial location of oil and gas fields
were examined with respect to their position relative to oil and gas generating source rocks. The field
distribution could not be explained in terms of source rock geochemistry alone, and phase behavior of
petroleum during secondary migration was shown to exert an important influence on the distribution of
oil and gas deposits in the basin.
Abstract

Key word~"-petroleum, source rocks, hydrous pyrolysis, kinetics, migration, phase behavior

INTRODUCTION
Non-marine to marginal marine source rocks for
petroleum occur extensively in the Tertiary basins
of Indonesia and other S.E. Asian countries. An
example of such a basin is the Ardjuna depression,
located offshore northwest Java, where commercial
production of non-marine oil has been active for
many years (Fig. 1). The primary source for all
petroleum discovered to date in the sub-basin is
considered to be the deltaic member of the Oligocene
Talang Akar formation (Fletcher and Bay, 1975; Roe
and Polito, 1977: Gordon, 1985). The Talang Akar
coals, in particular, have been considered the major
source for crude oil, whereas interbedded shales have
been characterized as being more gas-prone (Gordon,
1985; Horsfield et al., 1988).
Evidence presented to date for crude oil generation
from Talang Akar coals is based on Rock-Eval
pyrolysis, pyrolysis gas chromatography (py-GC),
and detailed organic petrographic studies (Horsfield
et al., 1988; and references therein). The coals are
typically rich in liptinite macerals (15 60%), with
Hydrogen Index (HI) values of 200-400 mg HC/g C.
The expulsion efficiency of these liptinitic coals is
apparently sufficiently high to allow primary migration of liquid hydrocarbons prior to oil-to-gas
cracking at elevated temperatures. This differs from
vitrinitic (humic) coals occurring in other parts of
Indonesia (e.g. Mahakam Delta and Central Suma-

tra) where lower expulsion efficiencies for oil are due


to the retention of liquid hydrocarbons within the
organic matrix (Monthioux and Landais, 1987; Katz
and Mertani, 1989). Poor expulsion of liquids combined with a high proportion of refractory (gasprone) kerogen indicate that vitrinitic coals are more
likely to yield only gas. On the other hand, Horsfield
et al. (1988) have suggested that the high conversion
of exinites to liquids in the Talang Akar coals results
in de-activation of adsorptive sites and provides the
critical oil saturation required for primary migration
by continuous monophasic flow. Geochemical and
petrographic studies of other liptinitic Mesozoic and
Tertiary coals have also provided evidence for
efficient expulsion of crude oil (Hvoslef et al., 1988;
Mukhopadyay, 1989; Zhao et at., 1990). A thorough
understanding of the factors which influence primary
migration from coals is extremely important for
accurate basin evaluation, since incorrect assumptions can dramatically affect the outcome of resource
assessment calculations.
In the present study, the relative potential of
Talang Akar coals and shales to generate and expel
oil and gas was examined. Kinetic paremeters for
hydrocarbon generation were determined for samples
from different paleogeographic locations within the
deltaic to marginal marine complex, and temperatures for oil and gas formation were derived using
typical Ardjuna heating rates. Molecular characteristics of the coals and shales were examined, and
363

364

R.A. NOBLEet al.

OFFSHORE N.W. JAVA

AGE
STRATIGRAPHY
COLUMN

FORMATION/
ZONE

~UARTERNARY. . . .
~
TO
. ~ . . _. _ _ . . .
PLIOCENE I - - - : : - : ~
:::a
L
m - r - ....
=
LATE
MIOCENE

. . . . . . . . . .

~SR'/

[1~'~,

'KAL,MANTANJl

"

"= - - ~ 3 = - "
-

MIDDLE
MIOCENE

CISUBUH

PARIGI LIMESTONE
Y POST MAIN "

MAIN

~ .'~-" ~
' ~
..-~. -..~.
h... . . . .
~

Z
~,
"~
CO

MASSIVE

nl

QQ-

! =
EARLY
MIOCENE

............
............
I j''

BATU
RAJA

__
. . . . .

0
0

MILES
KILOMETERS

60
100

OLIGOCENE
TO
EOCENE

. . y.4t~
r

......
m).

~=~~q

v v v v v

E.PALEOCENE- ~
~
PRE-TERTIARY ~, , . ~

3ELTAIC ~

GRITS

Z
<

0
CE
LU

o
~

~-

JATIBARANG
VOLCANICS

BASEMENT

Fig. I. Location and generalized stratigraphy of Ardjuna sub-basin.


oil-like pyrolysates formed by simulated maturation
experiments (hydrous pyrolysis) were compared
with natural crude oils. The phase behavior of petroleum expelled from Talang Akar source rocks
was examined for a typical secondary migration
pathway, and the results were used to account for
the distribution of some oil and gas deposits in the
basin.
E X P E R I M E N T A L

Coals and shales from cored intervals of the Talang


Akar formation were used for analytical purposes. A
listing of samples and a summary of geochemical
results are presented in Table 1. Powdered rocks were
analyzed for total organic carbon (TOC) and RockEval pyrolysis yields using standard methods. Vitrinite reflectance measurements were made on whole
rock mounts, py-GC of powdered rock samples was
performed with a flash pyroprobe system interfaced
with a gas chromatograph. Gas-oil ratios (GOR)
reported in Table 1 represent the sum of C I to C5 (up
to and including n-C5) relative to C6 + components
(resolved+unresolved). A poly-t-butylstyrene internal standard (STD) was added to each sample, the
concentration of which was either 2.5 #g STD/mg

Rock or 0.25 #g STD/mg Rock, depending on organic richness.


Hydrous pyrolysis of core chips (20 g, 0.5 cm dia)
was carried out in a 500ml stainless steel--316
reactor (350C for 72h) in a helium atmosphere
(initial pressure = 0.24 MPa) using de-ionized water
(150g). Yields of gaseous products were measured
using a Brooks meter at STP, and the composition of
organic and inorganic components was determined
by GC (thermal conductivity detector). Expelled
liquid hydrocarbons were collected according to the
methods of Lewan (1985, 1990). The expelled liquid
fraction was composed of free-floating "oil", combined with the aqueous layer ether extract and vessel
rinse.
Whole oils were analyzed by gas chromatography
(GC) using a Hewlett-Packard 5880 gas chromatograph equipped with a 50m 0.25 mm i.d. fusedsilica column coated with CPSil 8 (Chrompak).
Helium was used as carrier gas at a linear flow
velocity of 25 cm/s; inlet split ratio was 1 : 20. Injector
and detector temperatures were 275 and 35ff'C,
respectively. The oven temperature was increased
linearly from 80 to 310C at 4C/min. Saturate
and aromatic fractions of rock extracts and crude
oils were isolated by column chromatography. The

365

Petroleum generation and migration from Talang Akar coals and shales
Table 1. Geochemicaldata for Talang Akar source rocks
Sample No.

Well

Depth
(ft)

TOC
(%)

SI
S2
(mg HC/g RK)

84R1964
88R7840
88R1145
88R1143

BY-I
BZZA-9
BZZA-9
BZZA-7

6390-6410
7246.1
7476
7896.4

84RI964P
88R7834
88R7835
88R1141
88RI 144

BY-I
BTS-1
BTS-1
BZZA-7
BZZA-7

6390-6410
7567.1
7883.0
7886.5
7900.0

1.89
1.08
1.94
0,62
0.34

0.6
0.4
0.7
0.2
0.2

88R7833c
88R7836
88R7837
88R7841
88R1148~
88R1149
88R1142

BTS-I
BTS-1
BTS-1
BZZA-9
BZZA-9
BZZA-9
BZZA-7

7646.0
8001.3
8008.0
7451.0
7493.5
7497.5
7891.4

17.1
1.28
4.86
7.43
21.0
2.1
7.73

ll.0
0.5
2.9
5.9
8.8
0.7
3.7

HI
(mg HC/g C)

VR a
(%)

GOR b
(g/g)

Depositional
environment

66.7
62.7
72.2
65.7

19
30
28
33

390
348
398
406

0.55
0.60
ND
0.73

0.28
0.27
ND
ND

Delta plain
(coal)

2.3
1.7
3.3
0.9
0.3

122
157
170
147
85

ND
0.66
0.70
ND
ND

0.36
0.39
0.40
ND
ND

Delta plain
(shale)

56.6
2.8
13.5
24.1
90.6
3.5
23.9

331
219
278
324
431
164
309

0.69
0.67
0.71
ND
0.68
ND
ND

0.30
0.36
0.31
0.29
ND
ND
0.30

Marine
influenced
inter
distributary
bay
(shale/
drifted
coal)

260
218
288
267

aVR, vitrinite reflectance.


bGOR, Gas/oil ratio measured from p y - G C (see text).
"Drifted" coal.
ND, not determined.

fractions were analyzed by gas chromatographymass spectrometry (GC-MS) using a HewlettPackard 5890 gas chromatograph-quadrupole mass
selective detector. The system was equipped with an
OCI-3 on-column injector (SGE, Australia) and
60m x 0.25 mm i.d., 5% phenylmethylsilicone,
fused-silica column. Helium was used as carrier gas
at a linear flow velocity of 33 cm/s. Typical MS
operating conditions were: EM voltage 2000V;
electron energy 70 eV; source temperature 25ff~C.
For saturate fractions, the oven temperature was
increased linearly from 50 to 290C at 4~C/min;
for aromatic fractions, the oven was programmed
from 60 to 165"C at l~C/min and 165 to 290~C at
5C/min.
Hydrocarbon generation kinetics were studied
using a Pyromat system (Lab Instruments Inc.). Each
sample was pyrolyzed at four different heating rates
(ca 1, 2, 5, 25C/min), and the resulting pyrograms
were numerically processed using the Lawrence Livermore KINETICS program (Burnham et al., 1987;
discrete activation energy model).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Influence o f depositional environment on source quality

The Talang Akar formation consists of interbedded sands, shales and coals which range in thickness
from < 100 m to > 1000 m in the major depocenters.
Several sub-environments have been recognized
within the deltaic to marginal marine complex based
on an extensive study of seismic sequences, biostratigraphy and sedimentology (Ponto et al., 1988). The
source rock samples listed in Table 1 (coals and
shales) were classified according to their specific
depositional environment using the framework of
Ponto et al. (1988) together with the more recent
sedimentological studies conducted as a part of this
project.

Figure 2 illustrates a detailed sedimentological


description through two cored intervals of the Talang
Akar formation in the BZZA-7 and BZZA-9 wells.
Both intervals are representative of source rock successions within the Talang Akar formation. A series
of sub-environments were recognized, ranging from
largely non-marine in situ lower delta plain coal and
soil modified shales (paleosols), to marine-influenced
interdistributary bay "drifted" coals and bioturbated
shales. Both the in situ delta plain coals and interdistributary bay drifted coals have high initial HI values
(300-400 mg/g) and high liptinite contents, indicating
good potential for oil generation. Pedogenically
modified shales deposited in largely non-marine delta
plain settings are relatively lean in organic matter
with lower HI values, below 200mg/g. These are
similar to the grey mudstones reported by Horsfield
et al. (1988), which were considered poor source
rocks for oil. In contrast, shales deposited in marineinfluenced interdistributary bay (MIIB) settings have
somewhat higher HI values, mostly in the
200--400 mg/g range (Table 1). Shales of this type
with relatively high hydrogen indices have previously
been unrecognized in the Ardjuna region. In addition
to both the in situ and drifted coals, they have the
potential to act as a source for crude oil in the basin
(see Kinetics section for further discussion).
The Talang Akar source rocks were sub-divided
into three broad groups based on their Rock-Eval
potential for oil and gas generation: namely, in situ
delta plain coals (HI above 300mg HC/gC, oilprone); MIIB shales and drifted interdistributary bay
coals (HI frequently above 200 mg HC/g C, mixed oil
and gas potential); and paleosol-modified delta plain
shales (HI below 200 mg HC/g G, gas-prone). The HI
boundary values are empirical and correspond to
initial values measured on immature source rocks.
Figure 3 shows the p y - G C results for three samples
which represent each major source group. Total peak

366

R.A. NoBLEet al.

BZZA-9

BZZA-7
LITHOLOGY
ORGANIC
GRAIN SIZE MODIFICATION

DEPOSITIONAL
SETTING

LITHOLOGY
GRAIN SIZE

SAMPLE
LOCATIONS

7870 -

iiiiiil

DISTRIBUTARY
CHANNEL
7~75-

ORGANIC
MODIFICATION

7475-

IN-~ITVOAL
SOIL FORMATION ON
DELTA PLAIN

--'7 " " :

"88Rl146

'---"T ".--.-MARINE-INFLUENCED
INTERDISTRIBUTARY
BAY
iN.SrrU C O A L _ _
SOIL FORMATION ON
DELTA PLAIN

MARINE-INFLUENCED
INTERDISTRIBUTARY
BAY

,.--7..
7485- __~'_---;
--..-----

---'T " "

"88Rl141

7490- : ~ " .'.~


:-- -.__.--.'
7890-

MARINE'INFLUENCED
INTERDISTRIBUTARY
BAY

7""__.--":..:
7495 -- ~ '

IN-SITU COAL

"88Rl147

~RIFT~D COAL

"88Rl142

7895-

"88R1145

7480 -

7880-

7885-

SAMPLE
LOCATIONS

DISTRIBUTARY
CHANNEL

iiiiill

IN*SJTUCOAI~
SOIL FORMATION ON
DELTA PLAIN

DEPOSITIONAL
SETTING

MARINE-INFLUENCED
INTERDISTRIBUTARY
BAY

--..,-4:'.
"88Rl143

"88Rl148

"88Rl149

SOIL FORMATION ON
DELTA PLAIN
'88Rl144

7900-

LEGEND

SAND
SILT

['~

--'~--'] T R O U G H C R O S S - S T R A T I F I C A T I O N
--1 P A R A L L E L / W A V Y

CLAY

mCOAL

~-----] R O O T L E T
~]

LAMINATION

MOTTLING

BIOTURBATION

Fig. 2. Sedimentological description and interpretation of Talang Akar shales and coals in two wells.
response relative to the internal standard varies between samples, corresponding to the differences in
their Rock-Eval S, values (Table 1). As expected, the
pyrolysis GOR values show an inverse relationship
with HI; i.e. the more oil-prone samples with higher
HI values yield pyrolysates with lower GORs. The
peak distribution of C6 + components do not differ
greatly, except that the delta plain coal affords a
pyrolysate richer in light aromatic components particularly toluene, m / p - x y l e n e and 1,6-dimethylnaphthalene (1,6-DMN). Significant amounts of aliphatic
compounds are generated from all samples, particularly waxy constituents above C2]. If we assume that
most of the C6 + liquids are formed from pyrolysis
of labile (oil-prone) kerogen components, and that
the C1-C5 gases are predominantly derived from
refractory kerogen (Mackenzie and Quigley, 1988),
then the p y - G C results suggest that the composition

of labile kerogen is similar in each sample, but the


ratio of labile to refractory kerogen differs in each
case.
The Rock-Eval and p y - G C results for each source
type can be interpreted in terms of depositional
processes. The in situ coals were formed in swampmarsh regions of the lower delta plain, and are
comprised of the remains of plant species that inhabited these environments. They are relatively depleted
in woody material, suggesting the occurrence of
predominantly leafy vegetation at the depositional
site (e.g. marsh reeds and aquatic ferns: Teichmuller,
1989; Cole, 1987; Mukhopadhyay, 1989). The resulting coals, therefore, contain significant amounts of
hydrogen-rich plant remains (liptinites). Following
coal deposition, the abandoned portions of the delta
plain were usually drowned by marine transgression.
The rise in water table associated with this transgres-

Petroleum generation and migration from Talang Akar coals and shales
DELTA PLAIN COAL
T O C - 62. 7%; HI = 3 4 8
G O R = 0 . 2 7 Kg/Kg

TOLUENE

2,5 ~ag/mg

MIIB SHALE
TOC = 7.4%; HI = 324
G O R = 0.29 Kg/Kg

0.25p.g/mg i

Molecular characteristics
Solvent extracts of Talang Akar source rocks from
all sub-environments of the deltaic to marginal
marine complex were analyzed by GC and GC-MS
for aliphatic and aromatic molecular markers. The
resulting chromatograms were examined for diagnostic features which might be used to either differentiate
between coals and shales, or between shales from
different depositional settings (e.g. delta plain vs
MIIB). However, no systematic trends were observed, with all samples of equivalent maturity
providing remarkably similar fingerprints.
Figure 4 shows a typical series of mass fragmentograms for Talang Akar source rocks. Bicyclic
alkanes (rn/z 193) are abundant, and consist of compounds of both microbial and higher plant origin
(Alexander et al., 1983a 1984; Noble, 1986). The
sesquiterpanes of inferred microbial origin include
8/~(H)-drimane and its rearranged analogs, whereas
those with higher plant precursors include 4fl(H)eudesmane and other bicyclic compounds (Table 2).
Triterpanes belonging to the 17ct(H)-hopane family

DELTA PLAIN SHALE


T O C = 1.9%; HI = 168
G O R = 0.40 Kg/Kg

BICYCLIC ALKANES
M/Z 193
4

~-GAS ,I,
31 -C5)

OIL
(C6+)

367

,I

Fig. 3. Flash pyrolysis gas chromatograms for Talang Akar


source rocks. STD, poly-t-butylstyrene standard.
sive phase induced conditions favoring the preservation of the coaly material. In the case of delta plain
shales, which underlie the coals (Fig. 2), soil formation induced by seasonal fluctuations in the water
table would have promoted oxidative degradation of
the organic matter shortly after deposition. The small
amount of organic matter incorporated into the
sediments was depleted in hydrogen, resulting in
shales that are organically lean and gas-prone. Terrigenous organic matter that was transported and
deposited in more distal settings, appears to be
enriched in liptinitic plant parts, possibly due to
greater resistance of the latter to bacterial degradation during passage through the water and sediment columns. Consequently, hydrogen-rich organic
matter tends to occur more frequently in marine
influenced portions of the delta, especially the interdistributary bay areas. In some instances, concentrations of allochthonous organic matter were so high
that coaly deposits formed, which in this study have
been referred to as drifted coals. The MIIB shales and
drifted coals therefore show progressively better
characteristics for oil generation than do the largely
non-marine delta plain shales.

18

28

PENTACYCLICTERPANES
M/Z 191
9

~t,~JtJ~_
52

68

TIME (mln)

OI/TRI-NUCLEARAROMATICS
TOTAL ION CURRENT

16

40

TIME (min)

90

Fig. 4. Mass fragmentograms showing molecular characteristics of Talang Akar coal and shale extracts. Peak assignments are listed in Table 2.

368

R. A. NOBLE et al.
Table 2. Peak identification and structural assignments
Peak a
number

Molecular
formula

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
I1
12
13
14
15
16

CIsH28
CIsH2s
CIsH2s
CisH2s
CIsH2s
C27H46
C30H52
C27H46
C29H5o
C30H52
Ct2Ht2
C13HI4
CI3HI4
CtsHis
C~4HI6
C~4H~0

Compound name

Reference

Rearranged bicyclic alkane (plant marker)


Rearranged drimane
4fl(H)-Eudesmane
Rearranged drimane
8#(H)-drimane
18~(H)-22,29,30-trisnorhopane (Ts)
Unidentifiedresin triterpane (bicadinane type)
17~(H)-22,29,30-trisnorhopane (Tm)
17~(H),21fl(H)-norhopane
17~(H),21fl(H)-hopane
1,6-Dimethylnaphthalene
1,2,7-Trimethylnaphthalene
1,2,5-Trimethylnaphthalene
Cadalene
1,2,5,6-Tetramethylnaphthalene
Phenanthrene

Noble (1986)
Alexander et al. (1984)
Alexander et aL (1983a)
Alexander et al. (1984)
Alexander et al. (1984)
Seifert and Moldowan (1980)
cf. Cox et al. (1986)
Seifert and Moldowan (1980)
Seifert and Moldowan (1980)
Seifert and Moldowan (1980)
Alexander et al. (1983b)
Rowland et al. (1984)
Rowland et al. (1984)
Bendoraitis (1974)
Villar et al. (1988)

"Refers to Fig. 4.

dominate the m / z 191 fragmentogram. Other C30


triterpenoids are probably of the bicadinane skeletal
type (Cox et al., 1986), although authentic standards
were unavailable to precisely identify their structures.
The latter compounds are common in oils and source
rocks from the Far East, and originate from higher
plant natural products (Grantham et al., 1983;
Robinson, 1987; Czochanska et al., 1988). The diand tri-nuclear aromatic fraction contains the full
suite of isomeric alkylnaphthalenes and phenanthrenes, with unusually high abundances of a single
compound: 1,6-DMN. The precise origin of this
compound is presently unknown, but it is probably a
degradation product of a sesquiterpenoid or polyterpenoid natural product (van Aarsen et al., 1991).
Other aromatic compounds with higher plant affinities include cadalene (Bendoraitis, 1974), and 1,2,7trimethylnaphthalene (1,2,7-TMN) which may be
derived from triterpenoids with the oleanane carbon
skeleton (Strachan et al., 1988; Villar et al., 1988).
All of these molecular features strongly indicate
significant amounts of angiosperm (flowering plant)
input to each sub-environment within the deltaic to
marginal marine complex. This is consistent with
paleobotanical studies which have shown that angiosperm flora dominated the coastal plain environments of Neogene Indonesia (Thompson et al., 1985:
Cole, 1987). The similarity of peak distributions in
coals and shales from different sub-environments
suggests that detrital plant components from the
same group of marsh-dwelling angiosperms were
redistributed by transport processes to each depositional setting.

affording the lowest value (54kcal/mol; 34.5% of


total), followed by the MIIB shale (59kcal/mol;
27.5%), and the delta plain shale (68kcal/mol;
21.4%).
Figure 6 illustrates the extent of kerogen conversion vs reaction temperature for the three types of
Talang Akar source rocks at a typical Ardjuna
heating rate of 5C/Ma. Data for each curve was
computed using the distributed kinetic parameters

LDelta P l a i n
3a

138e14

Coal]

s-t

L
20

40

50

60

70

80

IMp]B_s~Jej
A

30

42515

s-!

20

~o

40

50

60

70

80

[Delta P l a i n
~ 30

245et8

Shale]
1

Kinetics o f petroleum generation

Kinetic parameters for hydrocarbon generation


were determined for Talang Akar source rocks using
methods developed by Burnham et al. (1987). Figure
5 shows the distribution of activation energies and
universal frequency factors derived from a series of
constant heating rate laboratory experiments. The
principal activation energy differed for samples from
each sub-environment, with the delta plain coal

4O

50

60

n. r f ~

.rq,

70

80

ACTIVATION ENERGY (KCol//mol)

Fig. 5. Histograms showing the distribution of activation


energies (E~) and universal frequency factors (A) for three
types of Talang Akar source rocks.

Petroleum generation and migration from Talang Akar coals and shales
o

N.\

.5

oe,ta P,o,n ooa, I

...... t ....
~

::
::

L.L

:
::

80

----- ....

',,

120

140

,
",

",,

",,

s \ ZONE

REGION

1 O0

MIIB Shale
I
Delta Plain Shale l

OF
"dTE' AdiLzrr

_
:

",

: ~
~ ~
:: \

160

369

_"-..

180

200

220

240

Temperature (C)

Fig. 6. Plot showing the fraction of kerogen reacted versus temperature for three types of Talang Akar
source rocks at a constant heating rate of 5~C/Ma.
(Fig. 5), applied to the constant heating rate equation
of Juntgen and van Heek (1968). Using these parameters, it appears that under geological conditions,
the delta plain coal generates hydrocarbons at lower
temperatures than the MIIB shale, which in turn,
reacts at significantly lower temperatures than the
delta plain shale.
At the average heating rate used in this kinetic
treatment (5C/Ma), crude oil is stable at temperatures below about 160C (based on the kinetic parameters of Mackenzie and Quigley, 1988). At higher
temperatures, the rate of oil to gas cracking becomes
significant. Therefore, in the temperature range of oil
stability, the delta plain coals evolve approx. 70% of
their total hydrocarbons, before significant conversion to gas occurs. In the same temperature range, the
MIIB shales and delta plain shales respectively realize
only 25%, and < 5%, of their total hydrocarbon
potential (Fig. 6). Combining these results with those
of the kerogen-type assessment (see section on Source
Quality), the following conclusions can be drawn
about oil vs gas generation from Talang Akar source
rocks:
(1) Delta plain coals mainly contain oil-prone
organic matter, the bulk of which (ca 70%) reacts to
form hydrocarbons in the temperature range of oil
stability (below 160C).
(2) MIIB shales also contain some oil-prone
organic matter. However, only about 25% of the
reactive kerogen yields hydrocarbons at temperatures
where crude oil is stable. The remainder would be
converted to gas prior to expulsion.
(3) Delta plain shales contain predominantly gasprone organic matter. More than 95% of the reactive
kerogen is converted to hydrocarbons at temperatures above 160C, which would result in the expulsion of gaseous products only.

Simulated maturation experiments


Open system pyrolysis experiments of the type used
in Rock-Eval analyses and Pyromat kinetic studies
provide useful information about hydrocarbon generation, but they do not accurately address the question
of petroleum expulsion from potential source rocks.
A proper evaluation of the expulsion phenomena is
required in order to determine the relative importance
of delta plain coals and MIIB shales to crude oil
genesis in the basin. At present, the best available
laboratory method to simulate petroleum expulsion
from source rocks is through hydrous pyrolysis (HP),
details of which have been described by Lewan (1985,
1987, 1990).
The three types of Talang Akar source rocks
described in this study were subjected to HP at 350C
for 72 h. These conditions have been found to result
in maturation levels which approximate the peak of
natural crude oil generation (Lewan, 1985). The total
amount of expelled oil and gaseous pyrolysates
obtained from the experiments differed greatly between samples, reflecting the effective oil vs gas
potential of each source type, The delta plain coal
afforded the highest pyrolysate yield relative to initial
rock weight, of which the oil fraction represented
87wt% of the total expelled product (Fig. 7). A
significant proportion of oil was also expelled from
the MIIB shale (54%), whereas the delta plain shale
mainly afforded gaseous products. Carbon dioxide
was the major inorganic component of all expelled
gases, and in the case of the delta plain shale, it
constituted 90mo1% of the total gas. Pyrolysate
G O R varied between samples in accordance with
their source potential (Table 3). High G O R values
akin to those found in gas/condensate reservoirs
were obtained from the delta plain shale, whereas

370

R . A . NOBLE et al.

20

vssJ HC ~
(C1-C6+)
I.
1 Nor~-HC Gas

g:='peUed O~
g.

15

4.az (I-Ic gas)


a.sz (rum~c gas)

aT.~z (oa)
a_

"~

Delta Plain
Coal

MIIB
Shale

Delta Plain
Shale

Fig. 7. Expelled p r o d u c t yields from h y d r o u s pyrolysis o f T a l a n g A k a r source rocks at 350C for 72 h.


W e i g h t percentages of expelled oil, n o n - h y d r o c a r b o n gas a n d h y d r o c a r b o n gas in the t o t a l p y r o l y s a t e are
s h o w n for each source type. Details o f n o n - H C gas c o m p o s i t i o n a n d G O R s are given in T a b l e 3.

lower values more typical of black oil deposits


were derived from the delta plain coal and MIIB
shale (cf. McCain, 1973). In terms of relative oil and
gas yields, the results from hydrous pyrolysis appear
to provide reasonable estimates of what might be
expected from subsurface maturation of these source
rocks.
Pyrolysates expelled from potential source rocks by
HP show many compositional similarities to naturally formed crude oils (Lewan, 1990). Figure 8 shows
a comparison of whole oil chromatograms for an
Ardjuna basin crude oil and the HP liquids expelled
from the delta plain coal and MIIB shale. In contrast
with the products of p y - G C (Fig. 3), the HP oils have
many features in common with the Ardjuna oil. The
coal yields a highly paraffinic product rich in waxy
components above n-C21. Light aromatics, particularly 1,6-DMN, are also abundant. The same aromatic compounds are present in the shale pyrolysate,
together with large amounts of pristane. A combination of the two HP pyrolysates in appropriate
proportions would result in a product that has distinct similarities to the Ardjuna oil. Pyrolysis artifacts
such as elevated amounts of aromatic and highly
polar material (Lewan, 1990) are not considered in
this comparison. HP results suggest that delta plain

coals must have undergone effective expulsion of


crude oil, and clearly must represent a major source
for liquid petroleum in the Ardjuna basin.
Accurate estimates of the expulsion efficiency (EE)
of source rocks are important for resource assessment
calculations, particularly in basins containing oilprone coals. A current method for estimating EE,
devised by British Petroleum, is based on mass
balance calculations that require subsurface sampling
of an immature source rock and a mature counterpart
that has undergone petroleum generation and expulsion (Cooles et al., 1986; Mackenzie and Quigley,
1988). This method suggests that organic-rich shales
have EE values of 60-90% during the main stage of
crude oil generation. Similar calculations have not
been carried out for the Talang Akar source rocks
due to a lack of suitably mature samples. However,
mass balance calculations from several hydrous pyrolysis experiments of Talang Akar and other Java
Sea coals indicate EE values of 60-70% at peak oil
generation. Our experience with the HP method
indicates that the expulsion process is exaggerated
and that measured EE values are overly optimistic.
Nevertheless, EE values of about 40-50% for subsurface maturation are not considered unreasonable for
these liptinitic coals.

Table 3. Gas-oil ratios from hydrous pyrolysis (350C/72 h)


Sample No.

Type of
source rock

Specific gravity of
total gas

88R7840
88R7835
88R7841

Delta plain coal


Delta plain shale
MIIB shalec

0.985
1.42
0.998

Total GOR ~
(ft~/bbl)
(g/g)
395
60,119
3157

0.095
20.86
0.77

HC GOR b
(ft3/bbl)
(g/g)
271
1637
501

0.053
0.32
0.098

"Total GOR = yield of gaseous pyrolysis products (CI~C6 + ; CO2, CO, H 2, N 2, H 2S) relative to yield of expelled oil. Conversion
to units of standard ft3/bbl is based on measured gas gravity, and average oil gravity of 35 API.
bHC GOR = yield of hydrocarbon pyrolysis gases (CI-C6 + ) relative to yield of expelled oil. Conversion to volumetric units
is based on an assumed HC gas gravity of 0.8 and oil gravity of 35 AP1.
CMIIB, marine influenced interdistributary bay.

Petroleum generation and migration from Talang Akar coals and shales
1,6-DMN

MIGRATION CO-ORDINATE
D E L T A PLAIN C O A L

!
i

25

ii

Depth= &5(P,T,GOR,Pg,Po)

/ / O I

///

liik

,
~

GAS

EXPELLED "OIL"
350C/72h (HYDROUS)

i i

37l

_ ~ _ Bubble point of

~ ,

1,~DMN

PETROLEUM

MIIB S H A L E

EXPELLED
"OIL"
350 C/72h (HYDROUS)

Pr

Fig. 9. Schematic plot of depth vs migration distance


showing phase behavior of migrating petroleum. ~b, Function; P, pressure; T, temperature; GOR, expulsion gas-oil
ratio; pg, surface gas density; po, surface oil density.

Pr

ARDJUNA BASIN OIL


1,~DMN

i
i
'

i
i

13

'

25

RETENTION TIME "-~

Fig. 8. Gas chromatograms for pyrolysates produced from


hydrous pyrolysis of Talang Akar source rocks (coal and
shale) and an Ardjuna basin crude oil.
Phase behavior

The phase behavior of petroleum during secondary


migration from source to reservoir has been recognized as an important factor which can influence the
distribution of oil and gas deposits in a basin (England and Mackenzie, 1989). A preliminary investigation has been conducted in the Central Ardjuna
region in order to assess the role of phase behavior
in defining the stratigraphic and spatial locations of
oil and gas fields which have a common Talang Akar
source.
Figure 9 shows a schematic migration-depth plot,
illustrating the concepts associated with phase transformations during upward migration. Petroleum is
expelled as a single phase fluid from an oil-prone
source rock at depth. The average GOR of the
expelled fluid depends on source rock characteristics,
and is a key variable in this discussion. Most oilprone source rocks probably expel petroleum with
GORs < 0.5 kg/kg
(2500 scf/bbl),
values
of
0.2-0.3kg/kg being fairly typical (England and
Mackenzie, 1989). At the temperatures (T) and pressures (P) normally associated with petroleum gener-

ation from oil-prone source rocks, all evolved gas


remains in solution with the oil. With upward movement of the petroleum to regimes of lower T and P,
phase separation occurs with gas being exsolved from
the liquid. The depth at which the two phases begin
to separate, termed the migration bubble point, can
be estimated from reservoir engineering correlations
(eg. Vasquez and Beggs, 1980). Input variables for
these calculations are P - T values along the secondary
migration pathway, expulsion GORs, and surface
densities of the liquid and gaseous petroleum phases
(England et al., 1987).
The location of some Talang Akar sourced
petroleum deposits are shown on a cross-section
through the Central Ardjuna region (Fig. 10). The
accumulations occur either as (a) undersaturated oil;
(b) gas-saturated oil in equilibrium with free gas; or
(c) gas with dissolved condensate. The tops of the oil
and gas windows indicate that much of the Talang
Akar source interval is within the zone of oil generation in the central part of the basin, but is immature
on the NW and SE flanks. The top of the gas window,
which corresponds to a temperature of about 160'C,
is only reached in the very deepest part of the central
region, indicating a spatially well confined gas
"kitchen". No other source rocks underlie the Talang
Akar, so the origin of oil and gas is rooted predominantly within this central deep region. In spite of this
well defined source area, it is not possible 1o account
for the known distribution of oil and gas deposits if
one only considers sequential oil and gas migration
from a subsiding source rock. The effects of phase
behavior must therefore be taken into account.
The migration bubble point trend shown in Fig. 10
was calculated according to the methods described
above. The expulsion GOR was estimated from
hydrous pyrolysis experiments over a wide range of
temperatures, and assumes coals to be the major
source for oil and MIIB shales, a minor source. There

I0000

@000

}000

~000

)000

)000

GR

GR
200
,,q

)
i

DT
.>40 4 0

:8o

=
tx~

;8

Gas/Condensate
!~ Oil/Gas
Undersaturated Oil

BUBBLE P O I N T F O R
COAL-SOURCED OIL
(GOR = 500-600 scf/bbl)

ZZZZZZZ~Z~~Z~Z--"

OT
_~40 40

8,,---oI

I
I

GR
200

DT
->40 4 0

,~ t11"

:
~:
)

..

,~

-..

TALANG
AKAR

GR
200

BA TU RAJA :

MASSlVE

MAIN

CISUBUH

DT
!40 40

.-i-- ~

~8
~O

)i

;+O

?8
2O

O4
LO

~8

~8
;o

NELL 4

GR
2OO
.(

8o

o8o

p0

o~

TOP O F G A S
WINDOW
.

...

ii

ToP
oF o,L ii !!ii !
WINDOW

DT
'.40 4 0

NELL 5

:"-2""

,~=';

SE

Fig. 10. NW-SE cross section through Central Ardjuna region showing location of oil and gas deposits relative to oil and gas generation "windows" and calculated migration bubble point
:rend. The tops of the oil and gas windows are based on threshold temperatures from kinetic studies (ca 130C for oil and 160C for gas). Migration bubble points were calculated using a
~ydrostatic pressure gradient of 10.3 MPa/km (0.46 psi/ft), measured geothermal gradients in each well, an average source GOR of 0.11 kg/kg (550 scf/bbl), oil gravity of 35 API and specific
gas gravity of 0.8.

1,1

,i-

T.

~000

}000

.~000

I000

NW

NELL 3

WELL 2

WELL 1

,o

Petroleum generation and migration from Talang Akar coals and shales
are two types of reservoirs found at depths shallower
than the calculated migration bubble point: (a) two
phase oil/gas deposits; and (b) gas only deposits. This
finding can be accounted for by upward migration of
a single petroleum phase from oil-generating Talang
Akar source rocks, followed by separation of solution
gas at shallower depths. The exact fate of the exsolved
gas above the bubble point is not known at this time,
but the occurrence of shallow gas accumulations
suggests that at least part of the gas continues to flow
once critical pore saturations have been achieved. At
depths below the migration bubble point, mainly
undersaturated oil reservoirs occur, which is consistent with trapping of fluids from Talang Akar source
rocks prior to phase separation. A notable exception
occurs in the deepest part of Well 3 (Fig. 10), where
a two-phase reservoir exists. In this case, we consider
that high maturity gas generated from underlying
Talang Akar source rocks, has charged the reservoir
with additional gas, thereby altering the G O R and
causing separation of a gas cap. Phase behavior
therefore appears to exert an important influence
on the distribution of oil and gas fields in this
region.
CONCLUSIONS
(1) Source rock quality varies within the Talang
Akar deltaic to marginal marine complex. Delta plain
coals are oil-prone, and based on kinetic studies,
would predominantly yield liquid hydrocarbons
during thermal breakdown. MIIB shales also contain
some oil-prone kerogen, with approx. 25% of the
reactive kerogen being converted to petroleum in the
temperature range of oil stability. Therefore, in addition to the coals, MIIB shales provide a previously
unrecognized, although minor, source for crude oil in
the basin. Delta plain shales contain mainly refractory organic matter which reacts at high temperatures
(above 160C) to yield gaseous products only.
(2) Molecular characteristics do not differ greatly
between coal and shale extracts. Higher plant (angiosperm) biomarkers and their aromatic derivatives
occur widely, with 1,6-DMN often present in unusually high concentrations. Oil-like liquids expelled
from coals and shales by hydrous pyrolysis show
similar molecular compositions to Ardjuna sub-basin
crude oils. The coal pyrolysates, in particular, closely
resemble the crude oils, providing support for the
contention that these coals undergo efficient expulsion of liquid petroleum in the subsurface.
(3) A migration bubble point trend for Talang
Akar sourced petroleum was estimated at depths
ranging from about 2100 to 2400 m (6888-7872 ft).
Phase separation at these depths is consistent with the
observed occurrence of two phase or gas only deposits in shallower reservoirs, and predominantly
single phase undersaturated oils at greater depths.
Source rock characteristics alone (i.e. burial depths,
oil-prone vs gas-prone) could not be used to account

373

for the distributions of oil and gas fields. Phase


behavior during migration therefore appears to play
an important role in defining the oil versus gas
distribution in the region.
Acknowledgements--Technical support for this project was

rendered by Leon Dzou, Rick Tharp, Ken Yordy, Alex


Castro and Meril Robinson-Lewis. Helpful comments and
manuscript reviews were provided by Drs J. T. Senftle, L.
L. Lundell, J. D. Reed and two external referees, M. A.
McCaffrey and J. Dahl. Appreciation is expressed to the
management of ARCO Oil and Gas Co. and Atlantic
Richfield Indonesia Inc. for permission to publish.

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