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Abstract: A New Petroleum System in Offshore Campeche, Mexico

Mario Limon

A new petroleum system in the Sonda de Campeche of Mexico has been recently defined. This system is entirely Oxfordian in age, comprising eolian and beach sandstone reservoirs overlain by evaporites, which provide the seal, and in turn, overlain by organically rich, low energy carbonate mudstones, which are source rocks. This petroleum system was created during the late stages of opening of the Gulf of Mexico. The source rocks are composed of an algal mudstone overlying the evaporite sequence. Geochemistry, isotopic and biomarkers analyses allowed us to identify the Oxfordian source rock and also to obtain an excellent correlation with the Oxfordian oils reservoired in the discoveries. Oxfordian sandstones in the Sonda de Campeche exhibit excellent reservoir quality, rang ng from 6 to 26% porosity and 2 to 2730 md permeability. The porosity is principally secondary due to the dissolution of dolomite, anhydrite and cement, but intergranular porosity can also be observed. The tectonic evolution of the Gulf of Mexico in the Sonda de Campeche produced three types of traps (1) faulted blocks of "domino" style, developed during the extensional stage; (2) faulted anticlines formed during the Middle Miocene compressive event; and (3) traps related to diapirism of salt of the Middle Miocene-Pleistocene. The seal rocks are mainly composed by Oxfordian evaporites. Oil generation was initiated in the Middle Miocene following the compressional stage. The potential source rocks reached maturity beneath a thick Tertiary overburden in downthrown fault blocks and expelled hydrocarbons which migrated in a predominantly vertical direction. The oils do not show any diagnostic evidence of bacterial alteration.

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