Course Details

The public course is run with the support of SEAPEX ( the premier petroleum geology organization in the region and is typically run in a 3 or 4 day format. The course is run immediately prior to the SEAPEX conference which is run every 2 years in Singapore (odd years) and it is also run on an adhoc basis is London and in Houston when there is demand. The last course in London was in 2018.

By arrangement with Ian it is possible to run a proprietary course for your company or a small group of associated companies. This format can be the full technical training course but is typically a shorter format (typically 2 days) where Ian signs a confidentiality agreement and the group reviews both the petroleum geology of the region and discusses the fit between the exploration and growth strategies of the company and the available opportunities in the region.

Course Footprint

The area covered by the course covers Bangladesh to Irian Jaya west to east and the southern offshore area of China (south of Taiwan) to Timor Leste north to south.

It does NOT include India, PNG nor Australia (see for details on Ian’s course on the NW Shelf which is co-presented with Peter Purcell).

Course Objectives

The objectives of the course is:

  • 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 exploration work in the region.

Note – It is a requirement that all students have a basic understanding of both petroleum geology (theory and application i.e. petroleum systems, plate tectonics etc) and modern hydrocarbon exploration methods (i.e. seismic and drilling technologies etc).

Longley (2005) Summary of the Tertiary stratigraphy and source rock types in the Sundaland region of SE Asia

Longley (2017) Summary of the Tectonic Evolution of SE Asia. The formation of the main Tertiary Basins have NOTHING to do with the extrusion (India –Eurasian collision) tectonics!

Target Audience

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

Notional 4 Day Course Outline and Content

The typical 4 day course has the following outline

Day 1

  • Introduction
  • Data Sources
  • Pre-Tertiary Evolution
  • Tertiary Evolution Models
  • Petroleum Systems Overview
  • Regional Exploration History Review
  • Recent Significant Discoveries

Day 2

  • West Side Story
  • Sumatra
  • Java
  • Sunda Rifts

Day 3

  • South China Sea
  • Borneo Delta Sags

Day 4

  • East Side Story
  • Pulling it all together
  • Strategies for Exploration in SE Asia
  • Wrap-up, critique

The presentations are interspersed with large scale seismic exercises principally from seismic lines donated to the presenters from from seismic contractors active in the region. The presenters acknowledge the support of Woodmac and IHS Markit who allow Ian to use their well, field and permit spatial data files as a backdrop to much of the data in the course.

Course Costs and Handouts

The course attendance cost varies through time depending on venue and overheads. No hard copy of the course notes are provided because the costs for the colour reproduction are excessive). Instead a set of pdf images of the 4000+ slides are provided at the start of the course and typically students review the slides on a laptop or just take notes as the slides are presented.

A digital copy of the suggested reference list compiled by the presenters is also provided together with a copy of few key regional references. The slides in this pdf compilation have a watermark over the images but are still usable for most presentation purposes.

Other Products

An “ArcGIS Dataset comprising geolocated images of public domain maps is available for purchase this comprises:

  • Geolocated Images Approximately 400 Tectonic Element, Paleogeographic and other published key maps georeferenced in ArcGIS – WGS84 projection – (does NOT contain any IHS Energy digital data)
  • Indexed and hyperlinked cross-section location shapefile of 900+ sections.

The Price depends on size of company so that the product is accessible to smaller companies

  • Small Company US$10000 – those Capitalised at less than US$100 million – targeted at “start-ups”/”minnows”
  • Medium Company US$20000 – those Capitalised at between US$100 million and US$5 billion – targeted at “independents”
  • Large Company US$40000 – those Capitalised at more than US$5 billion – targeted at “the majors”

More information on this product can be supplied – send an email to