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The Maracaibo-Falcon Basin—Venezuela
The first oil concession to be exploited commercially in Venezuela was granted on September 3, 1878 in the State of Tachira to the Compania Petrolera del Tachira. Although the Compania was the first to exploit Venezuelan oil and actually continued its operation until the expiration of its concession in 1934, it can hardly be considered the pioneer of the Venezuelan oil industry. The first commercial well was drilled at Meme Grande along the eastern shores of Lake Maracaibo in February, 1914 by Royal Dutch-Shell interests.
Operations of both the Compania and Royal Dutch-Shell were in the Maracaibo-Falcon Basin. Since the inception of exploration activities oil and gas production has been developed in many parts of the basin from numerous geological horizons. Some of the geological factors which caused the formation and accumulation of major deposits of oil and gas in Western Venezuela are summarized in this paper. A general geological history of the Maracaibo-Falcon Basin is presented together with paleogeographic maps of the more important geologic stages.
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