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ABSTRACT: Exploration Potential in the Miocene Trend of South Louisiana

XUE, FANGJIAN "JACK", and KIM D. HEMSLEY , Holditch Reservoir Technologies, Schlumberger, Houston, TX

Recent new discoveries and significant reserve additions to existing onshore South Louisiana fields confirm that this prolific trend still has significant exploration potential. Application of new technologies has resulted in more targeted exploration strategies and systematic identification of the opportunities in the Miocene formations of the Gulf Coast basin. Integration of a regional sequence stratigraphic framework with new high quality 3D seismic data can reveal great potential in both the shallow conventional play and the deep frontier zones.

The shallow sections (7000 to 15000 feet), which have been intensely drilled, still contain a significant number of untested nonstructural traps revealed by new seismic data. A high percentage of these traps are characterized as seismic anomalies. The identification and delineation of these shallow targets depends on seismic attribute analysis to reveal these subtle stratigraphic traps. Characterization of the traps is greatly enhanced by the application of 3-D visualization techniques to identify the attribute anomaly variations in space.

The deep section (below 15,000 feet) is relatively undrilled with several thousand feet of unexploited section underlying the production zone. Recent deep discoveries confirm that application of new technologies can yield significant reserves from these deep targets. High-resolution seismic data reveals that salt movement and associated growth faulting in the deep Miocene section have created numerous structural traps. When associated with accumulations of sand-rich lowstand facies, these deep structural traps offer the greatest remaining potential in South Louisiana.


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