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Abstract: The Bolivian Source Rocks: Sub Andean Zone--Madre de Dios--Chaco

I. Moretti, G. Montemurro, E. Aguilera, M. Perez, E. Diaz Martinez

A complete study of source rocks has been carried out in the Bolivian foothills and foreland (Sub Andean Zone, Chaco and Madre de Dios) in order to quantify the petroleum potential of the area. Besides the classical mid-Devonian source rocks (Tequeje Formation in the north, Limoncito Formation in the center and Los Monos Formation in the south), others are important: the Tomachi Formation (late Devonian) in the north and the Copacabana Formation (Upper Carboniferous-lower Permian) in the northern Sub Andean Zone. Both show an excellent potential with S2 over 50 mg HC/g and average values higher than 10 mg HC/g over few hundred meters. The Latest Cretaceous Flora Formation present locally a high potential but is very thin. Almost all the source rocks matured dur ng the Neogene due to the subsidence in the Andean foreland and in the piggyback basins, and are thus involved on the current petroleum system. Silurian and Lower Paleozoic units also contain thick shale beds, but these source rocks were mature before the Jurassic in the south of the country. In the center, the Silurian is not nowadays overmature and may play an important role. The different zones are compared based on their Source Potential Index which indicates that the richest areas are the northern Sub Andean Zone and the Madre de Dios basin with SPI greater than 10 t/m2. Since these two areas remain almost unexplored, these results allow us to be optimistic about the possibilities for future exploration.

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