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Post Well Analysis of Gulf of Mexico: A Multidisciplinary Approach for a More Confident Understanding of this Complex Petroleum System

Abstract

A multidisciplinary study of 100 wells from the U.S. offshore Gulf of Mexico has been carried out in order to assess, for each formation in each well, the four key risk factors for exploration: reservoir, trap, seal, and charge. The criteria for well selection comprise location in key areas of exploration, depth, well stratigraphy, and availability of data. Both dry and discovery wells have been analyzed, for a more complete spectrum of the exploration scenarios that characterize this region.

This multidisciplinary approach, that includes the integration of well data (including geological reports, well logs, mud logs, and biostratigraphic reports), 2D and 3D seismic data, petrophysical data (including CPIs [computer processed interpretations]), thermal modelling, and public data, provides a unique systematic assessment of the petroleum systems of U.S. offshore Gulf of Mexico.

Vertical complexity and heterogeneity of the Tertiary successions makes it difficult to identify formations and sequences based solely on lithological and wireline data. The integration of the biostratigraphic datasets has been fundamental to identify and characterize sequences and lithological units.

By collating the results of this study in a software database, that can be browsed and investigated in geographic information system software, new trends and patterns in the data can be explored.