AAPG ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITION
Making the Next Giant Leap in Geosciences
April 10-13, 2011, Houston, Texas, USA
Exploring the Hydrocarbon Potential Offshore Western Florida
(1) Spectrum Geo Inc, Houston, Texas, USA.
The eastern Gulf of Mexico comprises some of the last frontier, virgin hydrocarbon potential of the mature, prolific offshore Gulf of Mexico.
This study has evaluated 61000 kilometers of modern 2-d seismic data in an effort to identify possible petroleum potential. Selected profiles through the Florida Escarpment demonstrate the variability associated with this margin and the challenge of making reliable correlations between the shelf and the deepwater. Structures along the escarpment are most likely controlled by salt tectonism. These features may offer exploration targets in the future. The original extensional margin was probably relatively narrow as indicated by the limits of the distribution of salt structures which is typically 50-100 kilometers in width. The original thickness of the salt was also limited to less than 500 meters.
Numerous prospect types have been hypothesized that include:
1) Salt related features
2) Unconformity traps
3) Rift depositional reservoirs
4) Debris flow reservoirs
5) Carbonate Platform Margins and Buildups
6) Karst Features
7) Growth fault traps
8) Toe Thrusts
9) Inverted Normal Fault Structures.
It is noted that there are a large number of salt related features. Salt movement has resulted as intrusive salt diapirs. There is also evidence for lateral horizontal movement of salt resulting in subsalt potential prospects. Further, it is hypothesized that in places lacustrine basins associated with rifting may provide the setting of a pre-salt reservoir play.
Data quality allows for inspection of deep seismic events. Many of these seismic events are indicative of strata that may be as old as the Paleozoic and make up a basin that is outboard of the Appalachian Fold and Thrust Belt. These events indicate the potential for angular unconformity traps as well as structural traps.
Norphlet sand dune reservoirs have been confirmed on trend with the examined data set. Data inspection reveals this reservoir may be present in the survey area.
The Chixiclub meteorite impact is proposed as a mechanism for deposition of large scale debris flow reservoirs at the K-T boundary.
Conventional Gulf Coast prospects associated with growth faults are noted.
Offshore western Florida is virtually unexplored by the drill bit. This investigation applies prospect concepts to estimate the magnitude of the hydrocarbon potential available.