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Exploration Potential of an Underexplored Passive Margin: New Plays and Petroleum Systems in the Suriname Offshore Basin, Suriname


Torres, Max, Steve Hermeston, Allan Kean, Repsol YPF, The Woodlands, TX


A proven petroleum system has been established in Suriname requiring long distance migration of approximately 200 km from the deep water source basin to the coastal Tambaredjo Field (~1.1BBO in-place). Proven reserves occur in areas with no established source rocks or sufficient maturity for generation. Entrapped oils are typed to source rocks penetrated in offshore wells with sufficient maturity for generation and expulsion. Restricted circulation during the Cenomanian-Turonian global high-stand resulted in the deposition of the organic rich Canje Formation source rock present in exploratory and ODP wells. New geochemical studies of the North Coronie-1 well drilled by Elf in 1975 established TOC val­ues ranging from 3 to 5% with a measured vitrinite reflectance value of .7. Source rocks were also penetrated in the recent ODP program leg 207 with 6 separate penetrations of organic rich shales with average TOC’s of 5 to 20+% with a number of values above 20%. A recent review of the historical well and seismic files in conjunction with reprocessing and acquisition of 4000 km of 2D in the deep water Block 30 has identified previously undetect­ed exploration potential for the basin in Oligocene and Maastrichtian intervals related to extensional faulting and large stratigraphic traps. The presence of a world class organically rich source rock, a proven petroleum system, several potential trapping mechanisms and very few deep water penetrations makes the offshore Suriname basin an attractive target for hydrocarbon exploration. The USGS has published estimated undiscovered resources of 15.2 BBO for the basin.