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Meyer, David B.1, Larry Zarra1, Scott Neal1 
(1) ChevronTexaco, New Orleans, LA

ABSTRACT: The Perdido Fold Belt: Evolution of an Exploration Play Concept

After two decades of speculation on the petroleum systems of the Perdido Fold Belt (PFB), recent exploratory success has shed new light on the hydrocarbon potential of this significant evolving trend in the ultra-deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Located in water depths ranging from 8,000’ to 10,000’ in the Alaminos Canyon area and extending into Mexican waters, the PFB consists of a series of large, northeast-southwest trending, salt cored box folds. Based on regional correlations and seismic facies analysis, the initial targets were fractured Jurassic to Cretaceous carbonates and Lower Tertiary siliciclastic turbidites. 
Lacking local stratigraphic control, the presence, distribution, and quality of the reservoir objectives were considered the key risk elements for the original wildcat well. The most significant result of the initial structural test (Baha #1 and #2 wells drilled in 1996 and 2001) was the thick (> 4,000’) progression of Lower Tertiary (Oligocene Frio to Paleocene Wilcox) sands encountered in the wells. Although neither well was a commercial success, they established a working petroleum system with extensive turbidites greater than 250 miles down dip from their fluvial-deltaic equivalents. 
Since the initial Baha test in 1996, the Trident (2001) and Great White (2002) discoveries have established the hydrocarbon potential for this world class trend. Four additional structures are scheduled to be tested in late 2003 and 2004, allowing a significant evaluation of the PFB potential of 1.5 - 4 BBOE recoverable reserves. Tremendous technological strides have been made in drilling and seismic processing and imaging which will be paramount for the economic success of this evolving ultra-deepwater play


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90026©2004 AAPG Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas, April 18-21, 2004.