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Application of Geophysical Methods to give Certainty to the Hydrocarbon Potential in Mexican Basins

Vazquez-Garcia, Marco
[email protected]

Important discoveries have been made over the last few years in Mexican frontier and mature areas, offshore and onshore, particularly in geologically complex areas, including provinces with salt tectonics. We have also done an initial assessment of shale oil and gas plays. Therefore, our challenge has been to select and apply the best geophysical solution to produce optimum seismic information for each geological province. For this reason, an effective technology application is required, not only due to increasing drilling costs, but also the need to reduce uncertainty in prospect evaluation and to identify drilling hazards.

The main geological challenges were identified for every exploration project. Based on this, in 2009 we began the application of new methodologies at the offshore areas. Wide azimuth seismic was acquired at the Salina del Bravo province offshore Tamaulipas and high density and full azimuth solutions at the southern part of the Gulf of Mexico. In that way, we could provide better sampling of the seismic wavefield for increasingly accurate reservoir resolution. Effective teamwork and key technology application was essential to get the best value from the data and successfully obtain good subsurface images.

We have used a wide range of geophysical applications and complementary methods such as seismic and controlled source electromagnetics, to reduce uncertainty and better constrain prospect evaluation and ranking. Driven by the development of wide-azimuth acquisition, we have applied anisotropic tools to exploit the full potential of the wide-azimuth data. Even velocity model building and migration algorithms (Beam and RTM) have been implemented to incorporate more anisotropic complexities and give more accurate representation of the real geological properties. At the end, velocity model building remains vital to improved subsurface imaging. Onshore, we have applied full tensor gradiometry, passive/micro seismic and others.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90166©2013 AAPG International Conference & Exhibition, Cartagena, Colombia, 8-11 September 2013