--> --> Depositional Systems in the Deepwater Fold Belts of the Western Gom (U.S.A. and Mexico): Process, Geometry, and Implications for Provenance and Reservoir Development in the Paleogene

2018 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition

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Depositional Systems in the Deepwater Fold Belts of the Western Gom (U.S.A. and Mexico): Process, Geometry, and Implications for Provenance and Reservoir Development in the Paleogene

Abstract

The Middle Paleocene-Early Eocene Wilcox Formation and Early Oligocene Vicksburg Formation in the deepwater western Gulf of Mexico are well known reservoir targets comprising a series of channel, fan and related deepwater depositional systems. Whilst detailed field scale studies have revealed some of the complexities of the depositional processes that formed reservoirs of this type, the sub-salt location of many targets has hindered reservoir scale imaging. In addition, a focus on individual prospects / fields has limited understanding of the wider context of the depositional systems and the implications for future exploration, both within and beyond the existing fairways. We demonstrate the value of considering the entire depositional system in de-risking reservoir presence and quality for exploration. In particular we demonstrate the value of an integrated approach to stratigraphic architecture, depositional process and regional mapping from seismic data. We identify hybrid event beds and complex channel systems that control a varied sediment dispersal system. The use of a large footprint, modern 3D seismic volume that spans the USA and Mexico Perdido Foldbelt and surrounding areas permits consideration of detailed process-level sedimentology, reservoir architecture and the regional context. The seismic data are invaluable in extending detailed play level understanding away from well control. This has enabled us to address the large scale depositional polarities that help to answer fundamental questions related to regional exploration potential in frontier parts of deepwater Mexico and also to propose some new ones.