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GIS-Based Hydrocarbon Resource Map of the Mexican Sector of the Gulf of Mexico

Bingham, Lisa 1; Escalona, Alejandro 2; Norton, Ian 1; Mann, Paul 1
1 Institute for Geophysics, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas, Austin, TX.
2 Department of Petroleum Engineering, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway.

In order to better understand the structure and stratigraphy of the Mexican sector of the Gulf of Mexico and their implications for hydrocarbon potential, we have constructed an ESRI ArcGIS geodatabase containing over 200 data features compiled from more than 80 published references.

The main purpose of the geodatabase is to compile published hydrocarbon data for the Mexican sector of the Gulf of Mexico into a geographic information system. Seismic lines, well logs, stratigraphic columns, cross sections and outcrops that could be accurately georeferenced were digitized. Each digitized feature was assigned a unique identification number. Other attributes for the features include: source information, digitized coordinates, and one representative graphic from the original publication. This database can be easily updated as newer data becomes available.

This type of database allows the geoscientist to quickly scan an area and see previous work in the region, to view the interpretations and obtain relevant information. One example of the use of this type of database is for field work preparation and outcrop sample collections. The geoscientist may review published outcrop sample locations in relation to geologic and topographic maps and may plan sample locations on this information.

The geodatabase also contains information to provide either fast interpretation from published data or as a check to surface mapping by creating contours from well log picks. The surface mapping must be created first in the interpretation software of choice (for example, Petrel or ZMap) and exported into an ArcGIS raster (or grid). The well log picks from the published data can be used as a point check or - if there is sufficient amount of data - the well log picks can be contoured to analyze trends. This allows the newly interpreted and contoured data to be overlain and compared with existing maps of the area.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90090©2009 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Denver, Colorado, June 7-10, 2009