N130 The Petroleum Geology of SE Asia

Course Facts

Course Code:
3 days
2.4 Continuing Education Units
24 Professional Development Hours
Certificate Issued Upon Completion


The course analyses models for the geotectonic development of SE Asia, followed by a survey of hydrocarbon occurrences. The course focuses on the tectonic history and resulting stratigraphic patterns, trap styles and hydrocarbon charge for example basins for each of the following regions: Ganges/Brahmaputra, Sumatra, Java, Sundaland, China Sea, Borneo and eastern Indonesia, illustrated by lectures and seismic exercises.

Duration and Training Method

A three-day classroom course. Training will be through lectures, discussion and exercises. Please note that participants will be given the course notes in electronic form and will require a laptop for the course.

Participants will learn to:

  1. Review the Pre-Tertiary tectonic evolution of the region.
  2. Assess the principal Cenozoic geological events and their effects on the tectonic framework, palaeogeography, basin development and fill architecture.
  3. Differentiate the major basin types and understand their classification, timing and stratigraphic history - principally, rift-sag couples, collisional-related basins and marginal ocean basins.
  4. Categorise representative hydrocarbon-bearing basins from the region and explain known play types.
  5. Examine current models for petroleum systems in S.E. Asia and understand their application to the variety of plays in the region. In particular understand why some basins are oil-prone vs gas-prone.
  6. Interpret representative regional seismic lines to identify the major sedimentary and structural geometries.

The course will give an overview of SE Asian plate reconstructions and models and discusses the data used to test them. The tectonics of the region provides a context for understanding the distribution of resources, particularly hydrocarbons.


  • To make students familiar with the overall geotectonic development of SE Asia
  • To acquaint students with the geology of the major hydrocarbon occurrences (and some of the significant minor ones)
  • To make students aware of the major sources of information in the region
  • To enhance the students ability to do independent work in the regional geology of Southeast Asia

Southeast Asian basins share a common tectonic history and consequently display similar stratigraphic patterns, trap styles and hydrocarbon charge systems.

A better understanding of the regional geology plays and exploration concepts established in some basins allows the explorer to apply these in unproven or less explored analogous basins in the region.


  • Introduction
  • Tectonic context and setting
  • Current plate movements
  • Plate tectonic models and reconstructions
  • Region by region review of basin tectonics
  • Data Sources
  • Pre-Tertiary Evolution
  • Tertiary Evolution
  • Petroleum Systems Overview
  • Petroleum Provinces of SE Asia
  • Seismic Interpretation Exercises
  • Westside Story - Ganges/Brahmaputra Province,
  • Sumatra Province
  • Java Province
  • Seismic Interpretation Exercises
  • Sunda Rift Province
  • South China Sea Province,
  • Sesimic Interpretation Exercise
  • North and East Borneo Provinces
  • Eastside Story
  • Tectonic Models Overview/Discussion
  • Wrap-up, critque

Who should attend

Geoscientists who are new to the exploration industry in the region and senior staff geologists who wish to broaden their understanding of plays in adjacent countries. New expatriates transferring into the region for the first time.

Prerequisites and linking courses

All students should have a basic understanding of petroleum geology and modern hydrocarbon exploration methods.

Click on a name to learn more about the instructor

Ian Longley

Great course, enjoyed it all. Very well constructed and presented.