Radioactive apatite-rich “Hot Sands” of the Tenggol Arch: Stratigraphic curiosity or sub-seismic reservoir correlation tool?


Author : John Jong, Franz L. Kessler, Mazlan Madon, Hamdan MohamadPublication : Bulletin of the Geological Society of MalaysiaNo. : 67Page : 1-8Year : 2019DOI : DOI : https://doi.org/10.7186/bgsm67201901


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Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 67, June 2019, pp. 1 – 8

Radioactive apatite-rich “Hot Sands” of the Tenggol Arch: Stratigraphic curiosity or sub-seismic reservoir correlation tool?

John Jong1,*, Franz L. Kessler2, Mazlan Madon3, Hamdan Mohamad4
1 JX Nippon and Gas Exploration (Malaysia) Limited, Malaysia
2 Goldbach Geoconsultants O&G and Lithium Exploration, Germany
3 Advisor, Malaysian Continental Shelf Project, National Security Council, Malaysia
4 Custodian Petroleum Geoscience, Malaysia Petroleum Management, PETRONAS, Malaysia
*Corresponding author email address: jjong2005@gmail.com

Abstract: A review of Late Oligocene to Early Miocene reservoir sandstones in the Tenggol Arch area has identified a
number of intervals with anomalous radioactive levels within the K, J, and I Tertiary sequences. A correlation between
spikes on the spectral gamma ray logs and petrographic analysis of cores and cutting samples points to Thorium-bearing,
apatite-rich sandstones and siltstones as the main source of radioactivity. The elevated radioactivity levels occur within
meandering channel sequences with sediment derived from the Malay Peninsula, the Johor Platform and perhaps some
local cuesta ridges nearby on the Tenggol Arch. Commonly, the anomalous radioactive intervals are represented by flaser-
sand/silt and clay associations. Given the relatively thin radioactive intervals, measuring at most a few metres, these
sandy intervals cannot be imaged on seismic data, but could be used as a tool for correlating reservoir units at reservoir
or field scale. Furthermore, the high radioactivity due to Thorium (Th) and Uranium (U) could lead to wrong estimates
of clay and sand percentages, unless they are corrected with the help of spectral gamma ray logging.

Keywords: apatite, correlation, radioactivity, Thorium, Uranium, Tenggol Arch

DOI : https://doi.org/10.7186/bgsm67201901