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Abstract: The Oil and Gas Potential of Southern Bolivia: Contributions from a Dual Source Rock System

Kelly G. Hartshorn

The southern Sub-Andean and Chaco basins of Bolivia produce oil, gas and condensate from reservoirs ranging from Devonian to Tertiary in age. Geochemical evidence points to contributions from two Paleozoic source rocks: the Devonian Los Monos Formation and the Silurian Kirusillas Formation. Rock-Eval pyrolysis, biomarker data, microscopic kerogen analysis, and burial history modeling are used to assess the quality, distribution, and maturity of both source rock systems. The geochemical results are then integrated with the structural model for the area in order to determine the most likely pathways for migration of oil and gas in the thrust belt and its foreland.

Geochemical analysis and modeling show that the primary source rock, shales of the Devonian Los Monos Formation, entered the oil window during the initial phase of thrusting in the sub-Andean belt. This provides ideal timing for oil accumulation in younger reservoirs of the thrust belt. The secondary source rock, although richer, consumed most of its oil generating capacity prior to the development of the thrust related structures. Depending on burial depth and location, however, the Silurian source still contributes gas, and some oil, to traps in the region.

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