Abstract: Exploration Concepts in the New "Sub-Salt" Play, Off- and Onshore Gulf Coast Region
The new on-and offshore "Sub-Salt" Play in the Gulf Coast Region is for Tertiary and Mesozoic sandstones (? and carbonates) in structural and stratigraphic traps lying beneath secondary salt layers or beneath regional detachment zones. Interpretation problems caused by irregular-shaped bodies of high-velocity salt are now overcome by sophisticated data acquisition and processing processes. Pre-drilling sand prediction is a next interpretation target.
Remaining is the problem of regional hydrocarbon distribution - not all traps with reservoirs rocks contain oil or gas. The answer is sought in complete coverage of the prospective area by high-detail seismic 3-D surveys. An additional or even alternate solution lies in pre- drilling hydrocarbon migration analysis. Here, regional structure at levels near potential migration pathways is required; subsequently, detailed pre-drilling seismic evaluation of the most prospective areas follows.
Comparative petroleum-geology in other producing areas world-wide indicates that such deep regional structure maps indeed give reliable and highly practical answers. The data needed in the Gulf Coast region (deep seismic, gravity and magnetic) are now available.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90957©1995 AAPG Mid-Continent Section Meeting, Tulsa, Oklahoma