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Evaluation of the Petroleum Systems of the Province of Bravo Salina, Mexico
The studied area of the province of Bravo Salina (PSB) covers 41,000 km2 of the continental shelf and slope of the western Gulf of Mexico. Geologically it includes from West to East an expansion zone by salt evacuation and a contraction zone by salt detachment and pop-up. The sedimentary column is composed by evaporitic-carbonated Mesozoic and terrigenous Cenozoic rocks, which thicknesses reach up to 10 km. Analysis and correlation of biomarkers of bitumen extracted from seabed sediment cores and exploratory wells are interpreted as source rocks a shaly limestone of the Late Jurassic and Cenomanian-Turonian ages. Interpretation of seismic facies and its correlation with nearby wells indicates the continuity of reservoir and seal rocks of the Paleogene productive in American oil fields in deep water. Structural sequential restoration of regional transects indicates that saline tectonic peak stage and the consequent formation of traps happened during the Late Oligocene–Early Miocene.
Modeled scenarios estimate pessimistic, most likely and optimistic distributions of the organic richness of the sources, as well as the thermal environment. Modeling results indicate that hydrocarbon generation started in the Eocene, reaching the migration-accumulation critical moment at the Miocene. Modeling and seafloor hydrocarbon seeps indicate that oil is expected hydrocarbon in the terrigenous Paleogene reservoirs of the eastern contractional salt zone, while gas is expected in the Neogene extensional western area.
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