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MURRAY, EUGENE J., and GREGORY A. JEWELL, Kerr-McGee Corporation, Houston, TX

ABSTRACT: Regional Geologic Framework and Petroleum Occurrences

The Falcon Basin developed during the late Eocene as a result of dextral strike slip movement along the Caribbean-South American plate boundary. During the Oligocene and early Miocene as much as 16,000 ft of sediment, dominantly sandstones and shales, accumulated within the east-west trending pull-apart basin. Localized carbonate buildups were also developing in association with the Paraguana and Dabajuro Platforms.

During the middle to late Miocene, uplift of the now emergent Central Falcon Basin Anticlinorium resulted in the northward progradation of delta systems. Sandstones associated with these deltas now make up the producing reservoirs within the basin.

The complex present day structural configuration is the result of continued movement along the Caribbean-South American plate boundary. Landsat imagery and field mapping indicate a basin dominated by northeast trending folds and thrust faults in addition to north-northwest trending normal faults and fracture patterns commonly associated with dextral strike slip movement.

Commercial production is currently limited to the Tiguaje and Cumarebo areas. The former occurs as four small fields (+/- 52 MMBO) related to structures developed by dextral movement along the Oca fault. The latter Cumarebo Field (+/- 60 MMBO) is a thrusted anticline on the northern flank of the Falcon foldbelt. The tectonic complexity and sandstone-dominated nature of the onshore Falcon Basin severely limit potential field size.

Significant, yet currently undeveloped, reserves have also been discovered offshore in the Gulf of La Vela. Fractured granite, carbonates and sandstones associated with tilted fault block structures have tested hydrocarbons in several wells.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90988©1993 AAPG/SVG International Congress and Exhibition, Caracas, Venezuela, March 14-17, 1993.