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The Norphlet Sandstone and Other Petroleum Plays along and Outboard of the Florida Escarpment, Eastern Gulf of Mexico

Roberts, Glyn 2; Erickson, Joe 1
1 Spectrum, Houston, TX.
2 Consultant, Bedford, United Kingdom.

An analysis of modern seismic data (Spectrum’s Big Wave 2D Multi-Client seismic survey) along and outboard of the Florida Escarpment in the waters of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico has revealed a number of plays both on the Platform area and in the deeper waters; whilst the application of Pre Stack Depth Migration (PSDM) and the display of the data in the depth domain gives a better understanding of the geology of the survey area, which, with the exception of a limited number of shallow water wells on the Florida platform, is unexplored by the drill-bit.

Plays recognised include:

A) On the Platform:

1) Cretaceous Shelf Edge reefs and fans,

2) Patch reefs,

3) Thrombolitic reefs,

4) Stratigraphic pinchouts,

5) Broad structural plays,

6) Buried channels.

B) In the Deepwater:

1) Jurassic horst/graben (buried hill) plays,

2) Jurassic/Cretaceous plays associated with salt and salt tectonics e.g mini-basins, drapeover and onlap plays,

3) Plays associated with the Cretaceous/Tertiary Boundary e.g onlap plays,

4) Oligocene and Miocene clastic plays (including onlap and drapeover plays).

Particularly notable is:

1) the existence af a thick (5000 metre plus) Jurassic/Cretaceous section in the deepwater outboard of the escarpment showing all the plays associated with an autochthonous salt basin. This is in contrast with the expectations of a number of authors that this area would be made up of Oceanic crust.

2) the evidence for an extension of the Norphlet Sandstone play, tested successfully in the North Eastern part of the GOM at the Vicksburg and Shiloh wells, tens of kilometers South Eastwards into virgin territory along the foot of the Escarpment in the northern part of the survey area. Seismic ties with the wells are shown and the effect of salt withdrawal in the creation of the plays is discussed and depicted.

The talk will be illustrated with numerous seismic examples demonstrating the petroleum potential of the area.


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