Preliminary Three-Dimensional Model of the United States Portion of the Perdido Foldbelt, Deepwater Northwestern Gulf of Mexico
Marek Kacewicz, Jon F. Blickwede, Elizabeth A. Johnson, and Tim E. Smith
Unocal Corporation, Sugar Land, TX
3D basin computer modeling has proved to be instrumental in evaluating the petroleum system of the United States portion of the Perdido Foldbelt in the deepwater northwestern Gulf of Mexico. The 3D basin model utilizes Unocal seismic, heat flow, and potential field interpretations as well as the results of available well control in the area. An existing, lower resolution, 3D regional basin model covering the northern Gulf of Mexico and including our area of interest, provided regional heat flow trends and access to additional calibration data from a proprietary regional well database. In addition, it allowed us to utilize the results generated by several high-resolution, 3D sub-regional basin models that were previously built for the western and central Gulf. This ensured regional and sub-regional consistency.
The new model successfully reproduced the existing Trident and Great White discoveries and confirmed the high exploration potential of additional, undrilled structures in the Perdido Foldbelt. Timing of structural trap formation, as well as hydrocarbon migration focus are very favorable for forming large accumulations in the area. Critical for evaluating the remaining exploration potential in the area are modeled scenarios that include the timing of erosion in the crestal zones of the compressional folds, the amount of missing section, the distribution of carrier beds and reservoirs, pore pressure evolution, sandstone diagenesis, and the evolution of autochthonous/allochthonous salt. Key issues are addressed related to calculated heat flow, reservoir quality, migration directions, calculated volumes, and their implications for exploration potential.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90032©2004 GCAGS 54th Annual Convention, San Antonio, Texas, October 10-12, 2004