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New Maturin Basin, Venezuela

Anibal R. Martinez

The Maturin basin of eastern Venezuela is an outstanding example of the historical logic of exploration concepts progressively woven into large-scale commercial development. Exploitation of natural asphalt in the basin started with the end of the 19th century. Geological reconnaissance in a systematic way started in 1911; first oil field, Guanoco, was discovered August 15, 1913; first seismic survey was shot in 1934; first giant oil field, Quiriquire, was discovered June 1, 1928. A well completed January 6, 1936, went through a very heavy and viscous "tar" interval, non-exploitable at the time, the first in the Orinoco Belt field; the preliminary geological evaluation of the 13,000 km2 accumulation started in 1967, but was done in earnest during 1979-1983. Only one well had been drilled deeper than 5,200 m in 1985, but then for the contrast, the El Furrial trend with many deep giant light crude oil fields was discovered in 1986.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91028©1989 AAPG History of Petroleum Industry Symposium, September 17-20, 1989, Titusville, Pennsylvania.