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Hydrocarbon Potential of the Deepwater Portion of the “Salina del Istmo” Province, Southeastern Gulf of Mexico, Mexico

Carlos T. Williams-Rojas, Enrique Reyes-Tovar, Lino Miranda-Peralta, Gerardo Reyna-Martinez, Alejandro Cardenas-Alvarado, Rodrigo Maldonado-Villalon, Veronica Muñoz-Bocanegra, and Carlos Lora-delaFuente
Department Activo Integral Holok-Temoa, RMSO, Pemex PEP, Paseo del Mar S/N, entre Juarez y Robalo, Col. Justo Sierra, CP 21144, Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche, Mexico

Salina del Istmo’s deepwater zone located in the southern part of the Gulf of Mexico is one of the utmost valuable areas for PEMEX Exploration and Production, because of its important prospective resources of hydrocarbons.

In the study area of approximately 300,000 square kilometers, for the last five years, PEMEX Exploration and Production has deployed an exploration strategy which includes gravity, magnetic, and 2D-3D seismic acquisition, with the purpose of conducting basin and plays analyses, that let us to identify plays, leads, and prospects, and to define focus areas where 3D seismic acquisition helps to delineate the most prospective traps.

This new information combined with the geological and geophysical data and some exploratory wells of the southern part of the “Salina del Istmo” Basin—both on the shelf and onshore—has allowed us to carry out a regional basin-play analysis. In this paper we present briefly some results of this work carried out by a multidisciplinary team during 2009 and 2010, as well as a resume of the main challenges that the exploration process is facing. As for today, these results must be considered as part of a progress report, because the area is still under evaluation.

Inherent to the basin-play analysis we constructed regional geological sections, and facies and structural maps, with which we understood the distribution of salt bodies, their thickness, and their geological evolution, as well as their influence on the seismic image. In addition, we were able to figure out how salt tectonics interacts with sedimentation to define the distribution of reservoirs and seal facies. With this information in mind, we established where and when the main traps were formed, and how the maturity of source rocks has evolved and how it is related to seeps. This interpretation and the pertinent data from exploratory drilled wells in the south of the deepwater portion and data from analogues fields in the shallow water zone led us to postulate a geological-geochemical model of the petroleum system in Salina del Istmo’s deepwater zone.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90158©2012 GCAGS and GC-SEPM 6nd Annual Convention, Austin, Texas, 21-24 October 2012