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Turbidite Petroleum Geology in the Deepwater/Subsalt Gulf of Mexico


It has been over 10 years since discovery of large Gulf of Mexio deepwater/subsalt discoveries such as Mars-Ursa, Thunder Horse, Tahiti, Mad Dog, and Cascade. Exploration and drilling activity have now returned to pre-Macondo tragedy (2010) levels— under more stringent regulations—and new discoveries are being made at regular time intervals. Giant, Middle-Lower Miocene fields such as Tahiti, Mad Dog, and Thunder Horse are entering their peak plateau production. Large and older Upper Miocene and Pliocene fields such as Auger, Conger, and Mars-Ursa are being rejuvenated by secondary and enhanced recovery. Paleogene fields such as Jack and Cascade-Chinook are in their early stages of development. Appraisal activities for deeper targets in existing big fields are also common, adding tremendous upside potential for current big fields (e.g., Cardamom Deep, Mad Dog Deep, Mars-Ursa discoveries). Technologies are keeping pace with exploration and drilling to deeper depths and further offshore. These submarine fan reservoirs have many features in common, but usually with some differences.