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Land-locked Laos is underlain by the stable Indo-China tectonic block in the south sutured against the Shan-Thai block in the north.
Pre-Cambrian metamorphic rocks are present in the northwest and east. There were numerous granite plutons emplaced during the Devonian to Triassic whilst in the Permo-Triassic acid volcanic rocks were extruded in the south. Although rich in minerals, this type of terrain has limited un-metamorphosed sedimentary cover and Globalshift considers it to have no oil or gas potential.
Palaeozoic and Mesozoic continental fluvial and shallow to deep marine sediments outcrop in the southwest. These were deposited in the intra-continental Khorat basin, a small part of which lies in Laos. This basin area mostly underlies Thailand and the closest production is at the Phu Horm gas field, 200 kms to the west. One well was drilled in Laos in 2010 and had gas shows in upper Cretaceous carbonates and in the lower Permian and Carboniferous. The structural regime is complex with multiple episodes of compression, uplift and erosion.