Cuevas-Leree, Antonio1, Mario Aranda-Garcia1, Juan R. Roman-Ramos1,
(1) Activo Regional de Exploracion, Pemex E&P, Poza Rica, Ver, Mexico
ABSTRACT: Historical Synopsis and Geological Framework of Hydrocarbon Plays, Continental Shelf, Southwestern Gulf of Mexico
During last century’s second half, hydrocarbon exploration offshore Veracruz and
Tamaulipas had focused on the Cretaceous Plays of the Golden Lane or the Jurassic plays of
the Arenque area. Besides exploration and development in these traditional plays, current
activity also includes exploring for gas traps and fast-track development of the recently
discovered gas reservoirs in the Tertiary section. Gas potential of the Neogene was
confirmed by the discovery of Upper Miocene and Lower Pliocene shelf sandstone plays. A
regional study has defined the distribution of potential Neogene plays along the northern
Veracruz and southern Tamaulipas shelf. These plays have been ranked and will be tested
through strategic drilling of exploration prospects.
The geological framework interpreted with 2D and 3D seismic data along the southwestern Gulf of Mexico shows the clinoformal succession in two linked N-S structural systems associated to W-E gravity-driven deformation: the Quetzalcoatl Extensional Fault-Belt (QEFB) along the shelf and the Mexican Ridges Contractional Fold-Belt in deeper water.
The QEFB has been divided along strike into: a thin-skinned segment in the north separated by the Lankahuasa lateral ramp from the thick-skinned sector of Santa Ana High in the south. The distribution of Miocene-Pliocene plays is controlled by these structural elements and their syntectonic evolution. High variability of these plays is related to their structural setting. Risk perception is being updated according to drilling results in the different plays, mainly regarding seal and trap preservation.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90026©2004 AAPG Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas, April 18-21, 2004.