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ABSTRACT: Regional Petroleum Geoscience Knowledge: Essential to Successful Exploration Strategy in the Gulf of Mexico Basin

BRAME, JEFFREY W. , Brame Geoscience, Houston, Texas

Any successful petroleum exploration program in the Gulf of Mexico basin or other basins must employ a comprehensive, knowledge based operating strategy. Companies must determine their particular exploration and economic requirements and then establish a program in the appropriate portions of the basin where they can best fulfill these requirements. Basin wide regional geoscience knowledge is the best tool for electing these proper exploration focus areas. This knowledge ranges from basin genesis through the entire basin fill process and includes structural history, depositional processes, stratigraphic framework, salt-sediment interaction, petroleum play concepts, exploration history, and production trends.

The Gulf of Mexico basin contains a variety of petroleum play concepts in both onshore and offshore areas. Today's reduced budgets and staff size dictate that companies, particularly smaller ones, can access only a few of these concepts. Regional petroleum geoscience knowledge provides insight into all play concepts in the basin and allows comparative selection of the ones most likely to satisfy our business objectives. This knowledge also allows companies to operate successfully with their chosen concepts by outlining the subregional play concept focus areas and by defining exploration history, reservoir type and distribution, trapping styles, prospecting and acreage access techniques, and required data bases within each focus area.

This regional knowledge once resided in many companies, but it has faded due to staff downsizing and industry emphasis on technology over concepts. Every company should acquire this information to avoid inefficient postage stamp exploration and insure maximum profitability in their effort.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90908©2000 GCAGS, Houston, Texas