Carlos A. Alfonso1,
J. C. Mondragon1
(1) Ecopetrol, Santafe de Bogota, Colombia
Abstract: New exploration concepts and hydrocarbon potential in the Catatumbo Basin - Colombia
The Catatumbo Basin covers an area of 9,000 square kilometers, has a thick sedimentary fill of about 15,000 feet and forms the southwestern extension of the Maracaibo Basin, one of the most prolific hydrocarbon producing basins in the world. The Mesozoic and Cenozoic evolutionary history of the basin is tied intimately to that of the Maracaibo Basin. Started from extensional setting during Triassic-Jurassic to foreland stage during the Cretaceous-Tertiary time.
The Catatumbo Basin is the second oldest hydrocarbon-producing area in Colombia. Since early century there has been nearly continuous exploration activity in the Catatumbo Basin resulting in the discovery of eleven oil and gas fields (500 MMBOE), in a wide variety of structural and stratigraphic traps. The produced zones are structural and stratigraphically complex and include Cretaceous siliciclastics and fractured carbonates and clastic fluvio-deltaic Tertiary deposits. The type of oil vary from asphaltic to paraffinic, with gravities ranging from 17° to 55° API. The abundance of hydrocarbon resources in the Catatumbo Basin is a consequence of good to excellent, mature to over mature oil source rocks in the Cretaceous La Luna and Cogollo Formations.
Recent exploration efforts including an integrated geological and geophysical study and geochemical analysis allow us to propose new play concepts, define the petroleum systems and delineate primary exploration play fairways of Catatumbo Basin. The major play types include: triangular zones, subthrust structures, and structural closures related to inverse structures and normal faults, in addition to stratigraphic traps, with significant hydrocarbon potential. Primary exploration targets include naturally fractured reservoirs sealed by shales in different levels of the section. Source rocks for hydrocarbon include cretaceous carbonaceous shales.
Play types are summarized in term of hydrocarbon play elements, and are characterized by the spatial probability of occurrence within proven, maturing, immature and frontier structural play fairways and may provide the best
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90914©2000 AAPG Annual Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana