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Cuevas-Leree, Antonio1, Mario Aranda-Garcia1, Juan R. Roman-Ramos1, Jose Morales-Marin1
(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.