Hydrocarbon Resource Potential of Northwest Gulf of Mexico
Katherine C. Manger, E. Harry Vidas, Thomas Woods
The hydrocarbon resource potential of the northwest Gulf of Mexico was analyzed. By studying the geologic and the historical exploration and development data, the general characteristics of the gulf were determined. The geologic portion of the analysis involved the examination of the stratigraphic record, the sedimentologic history, and the structural and tectonic evolution of the gulf. From historical data derived from several state, federal, and private sector sources, past production trends, economic patterns, and factors influencing exploration and production were derived.
These general characteristics were used to divide the gulf into geologically and economically constrained subregions. A variety of appropriate methodologies were employed to analyze the Gulf of Mexico's hydrocarbon resources. These included statistically based find-rate and trend analyses (using computerized algorithms), and geologic analog extrapolations.
These analyses of the subregions were incorporated into a model that described past history of hydrocarbon exploration in the whole Gulf of Mexico and made inferences as to the future patterns and trends. The predictions derived from the model, particularly those for the continental shelf to slope break are consistent with recent leasing patterns, and with reports and verifications of strikes in the gulf. These predictions included the location and dimensions of new discoveries as well as quantities of hydrocarbon resources discovered. The model-generated economics of exploration and development in this offshore region have also compared favorably to reported estimates of costs.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91043©1986 AAPG Annual Convention, Atlanta, Georgia, June 15-18, 1986.