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ABSTRACT: The Petroleum Plays of Southwestern Gulf of Mexico

CUEVAS-LEREE, JUAN , Pemex Exploration and Production, Northern Region, Mexico

The Southwestern Gulf of Mexico is the offshore area of the states of Tamaulipas and Veracruz, Mexico. The petroleum exploration began in the 50's with seismic acquisition. Until now, 65 exploration wells have been drilled discovering reserves for 648 MMBOE in 16 fields.

Based on the geological and geophysical interpretation, four productive plays and twelve hypothetical plays have been defined. The Oxfordian is a sequence of calcareous sandstone and dolomite deposited in restricted platform conditions. The San Andres (Kimmeridgian), that produces from a calcareous bank related to a basement high. The Tamaulipas Inferior (Lower Cretaceous) that is a fractured chalk, the El Abra, offshore part of the Golden Lane, is a reef facies complex of carbonate platform of middle Cretaceous. The Tamabra, Marino is the talus facies of the shelf margin. The El Abra Lagunar is the wedging of high energy facies.

The Tertiary plays are hypothetical. They are related with three tectonic domains: distensive, saline and compressive. The distensive domain is defined by a thick pile of terrigenous forming anticlines with normal faults. Six plays are defined along the continental platform: the saline tectonic domain, located in the north, includes three plays. The comprehensive tectonic domain forms a play of elongated anticlines located in the continental talus. The reservoir rocks of these Tertiary plays are the Pliocene and Miocene sandstone deposited in deep water associated with channels and submarine fans.

A preliminary evaluation of the petroleum systems and potential resources shows that the southwestern Gulf of Mexico may contain important oil and gas reserves.


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