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Abstract: Oil in the Malvinas Basin

J. Sebastian Galeazzi

The Malvinas Basin is petroliferous. The main source rocks are Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous outer shelf to basinal shales known as the Pampa Rincon and Lower Inoceramus formations. Main reservoirs are fluvial and shallow-marine sandstones of the coeval Springhill Formation. On the western flank of the basin, 17 wells drilled the Cenozoic and Mesozoic column. Three of these wells discovered hydrocarbons within the Springhill Formation, and one discovered oil in Early Paleogene sandstones. Additionally, some wells recorded shows at different levels within the stratigraphic succession.

A detailed overview of the drilled portion of the basin permitted the construction of a sequence stratigraphic framework, and yielded clues on a complex history of deformation. Interpretation of facies and stratal stacking and termination patterns determined that the main reservoir and source rocks were deposited in a ramp-style depositional setting. They represent the lower transgressive phase of a Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous megasequence deposited during the early sag stage of the basin.

Alternative reservoirs to the Springhill sandstones include early Paleogene glauconitic sandstones and carbonates, and Miocene deep-water turbidites. Structural trap styles include normal fault features of Jurassic to Early Cretaceous age, and compressional and inverted positive structures due to Neogene compression. Possible combination and stratigraphic traps include: little tested onlap pinchout of Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous and Paleogene sandstones and untested erosionally truncated Paleogene sandstones; Early Paleogene carbonate buildups and Miocene deep-water turbidite mounds.

The understanding of the geology of the western Malvinas Basin is the key to success of exploration in the huge frontier surrounding areas.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90951©1996 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Caracas, Venezuela