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Comparison of Well-Based Chronostratigraphic Data and Mapping with Deep Seismic Imagery in the Gulf of Mexico Basin: Paleogene Reservoir Implications

Richard H. Fillon1, Arthur S. Waterman2, and Paul N. Lawless3
1 Earth Studies Group, New Orleans, LA
2 Paleo-Data, Inc, New Orleans, LA
3 Helis Oil, New Orleans, LA

Mapping of entire northern Gulf of Mexico deposystems has been based either primarily on seismic data or primarily on chronostratigraphic well data. Here we report on a comparison of basin-wide deposystem maps controlled by graphically correlated bio-chronostratigraphic events in >200,000 onshore and offshore industry wells with published onshore to deep basin seismic sections. The well control supports detailed views of Jurassic to Recent deposystem architecture onshore in shallow water and above salt, while the seismic data provides deposystem insights beneath salt and in deep water. Integration of the two independent datasets reveals previously unrecognized details of evolving Paleogene-Neogene source to sink sediment distribution patterns. Large volumes of siliciclastic detritus shed from the developing Laramide uplift in the early Paleogene initiate the Paleocene-Eocene depositional cycle (PEDC), which fills a Mesozoic Gulf Basin defined by epeiric carbonates, broad banks, and steep continental slopes. The most striking elements of PEDC deposition are robust Gulf Basin fan systems that are traced from their sources at shelf-edge delta systems beneath salt into the deep basin. The integration of well and seismic data suggests that these important reservoir systems are fed from ancestral Missouri-Rocky Mountain and southeastern Mexico-Sierra Madre drainages having largely disparate fine and coarse fraction mineralogies supporting variable reservoir properties.