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Global Petroleum Evaluation -The Role of Integrated Regional Analysis

 

Stephen Creaney

ExxonMobil Exploration Company, Houston, Texas

 

The evaluation of petroleum systems for new opportunities requires a fully integrated approach to Geoscience often on a broad regional scale. Over the last two decades our ability to execute such studies has been significantly improved by a combination of Geoscience advances and the massive increase in the data handling capability of computer systems.

Modern regional studies incorporate an understanding of geodynamics and structural development with an integrated understanding of sediment accumulation and distribution. The occurrence of source rocks and the timing of load generally control the subsequent evolution of petroleum systems. We refer to the study of this integrated process of basins forming, filling and maturing as Genetic Basin Analysis. As an example the geological evolution of Russia through time provides a good illustration of crustal scale (India collision with Asia), far field processes (transmission of compressional folding and faulting through accretionary crust) impacting the development of petroleum systems (maturation, trap formation and migration) in some of the most productive basins on Earth. In contrast the load-driven processes associated with recent deposition in the Gulf of Mexico provide an end-member example of a basin which is filling and charging today.

 

The advent of Geographic Information Systems has provided a computing platform perfectly suited to storing and manipulating regional scale, map-based data. By treating maps as data and interacting mapped datasets we can handle very large datasets, observe broad trends in geologic parameters etc.

 

This presentation will describe the concept of Genetic Basin Analysis and how it results from fully integrated geologic analysis combined with petroleum systems analysis. It will also describe how Geographic Information Systems are used in regional analysis to facilitate this integration as well as provide the platform for spatial analysis of geologic data.

 


 

 

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90064©2006-2007 AAPG Distinguished Lecturers