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BMS-50/52 and Adjacent Areas: New Giant Hydrocarbon Opportunities, Santos Basin, Brazil


This work presents initial considerations on the hydrocarbon exploration potential of the BMS-50/52 area within the Santos Basin, Brazil based on a preliminary interpretation of two 3D PSDM seismic surveys acquired and processed by PGS. Most of the area is expected to be offered by ANP in future bid-rounds. The area includes the Sagitário discovery (block BM-S-50). Adjacently, there are two major pre-salt discoveries: Parati, the first hydrocarbon success in the Santos pre-salt (BM-S-10 block) and Carcará (BMS-8 block), that extends into the open acreage at the southern BMS-50/52 surveys. To the north, there is also post-salt gas/condensate field, Mexilhão. The exploration trends identified in the area are: ● Post-Salt play in the north: a moderate-risk, gas/condensate trend with hydrocarbons trapped in Albian limestones and Upper Cretaceous to Lower Tertiary turbidites; ● Rift/Pre-rift play in the central-west: a high-risk, gas/condensate trend with accumulations within siliciclastic reservoirs of the Paleozoic (pre-rift) to the Lower Cretaceous rift succession in fault traps; ● Sag/Rift Limestone Edge play (Sagitário trend): a moderate-risk, with light-oil accumulated within structural or paleo-topographic traps beneath the base salt in microbial platform limestones, and occasional isolated microbiolite buildups. This hydrocarbon play has a SW-NE orientation and is most expressive in the BMS-50 area. Seismic imaging under the thicker salt is still quite challenging in the current Phase I PSDM dataset; ● The Carcará North/Itaipava Sag-Rift Limestone Play: a light-oil trend that extends from the Carcará discovery in BMS-8 to the Itapaiva Paleo-high, at the eastern-central segment, with hundreds of square kilometers of closures at the base salt and relief reaching 350 to 400 meters. In this trend, oil is accumulated on paleo-topographic highs resulting from very large microbial buildups, with expected excellent reservoir properties. This trend is the lowest-risk, largest-reward, play and is most expressive in the BMS-52 open acreage with possibilities for giant, light-oil discoveries. The depositional features are analogous to other large pre-salt features in Libra/Tupi and are clearly identifiable in these seismic datasets, even under very thick evaporitic layers. The understanding of the petroleum systems in the BMS-50/52 survey area also has important implications for the unitization of Carcará and any future discoveries that straddle block boundaries.