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Roure, François, Institut Français du Pétrole, Rueil-Malmaison, France

Abstract: Petroleum Exploration Strategies in Mobile Belts

Fold belts constitute one of the remaining frontiers for hydrocarbon exploration. A methodology is described to assess their petroleum potential. Oil generation, migration, and trapping history are studied together with structural modeling.

The restoration of structural sections to their intermediate geometry, between the onset of compression and their pres ent form, is an aid in reconstructing the burial maturation and diagenetic history of potential source rocks and reservoirs. Erosion and uplift are two competing factors that can delay hydrocarbon generation and must be accounted for in these simulations. Forward modeling is also helpful in testing the validity of assumed migration pathways and traps. Coupling the kinematics of deformation of folded belts with thermal maturation and expulsion modelings is possible. Future implementations are still required to address such important processes as fluid circulations and hydrocarbon migration, or dewatering and compaction of potential reservoirs.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90934©1997-1998 AAPG International Distinguished Lecturers