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The Tampico-Misantla Basin, Mexico: New Neogene Deepwater Plays in a Mature Basin


Bartolini, Claudio, IHS Energy, Houston, TX


The Tampico-Misantla Basin is located in eastern Mexico, between latitudes 20° and 25° North and longitudes 96º30’ and 99º West. The basin lies along the central region of the Gulf of Mexico, and it is bounded by the Sierra Madre Oriental fold-and-thrust belt to the west, by the Jalapa uplift to the south, and by the Burgos Basin to the north. The Tampico-Misantla is a mature basin which has produced more than 2Bbo, primarily from the Golden Lane (Tuxpan Platform) sub-province, and more particularly from the Tamabra play, which accounts for approximately 68% of the basin’s oil production. Secondary hydrocarbons pro­duction come from onshore fields in the Chicontepec and Magiscatzin sub-basins, and from the offshore San Andres/Lobina fields. New efforts by Pemex to re-assess the petroleum potential of the basin made possible the discovery of Lankahuasa gas accumulation in 2002, the first known offshore non-associated gas discovery in Miocene turbidite sandstones deposited in canyon fills and submarine fans settings. Also, recent 3D and 2D seismic inter­pretation of the Faja de Oro, Sardina, Cañonero, and Nayade blocks in the offshore Laguna Madre-Tuxpan continental shelf area, has permitted the definition of a number of potential plays associated with episodes of lowstand-derived submarine canyon and basin-floor fan development, where major volumes of siliclastic sediment were supplied to the basin floor. Production from new Neogene deepwater plays will rejuvenate the basin and enhance pro­duction of a 57,920 km2 area.