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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

GCAGS Transactions


Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Transactions
Vol. 50 (2000), Pages 1-6

The Sihil Field: Another Giant Below Cantarell, Offshore Campeche, Mexico

Jose A. L. Aquino, Jose M. Ruiz, Marcos A. F. Flores, Jesus H. Garcia


The Cantarell Field, discovered in 1979, is one of the largest oil fields in the world. It is located on the continental shelf in the southern part of the Gulf of Mexico, in the east-central part of the Campeche slope, 80 km from Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche, Mexico.

This oil giant is a mature field and it has produced approximately 7,000 million barrels (MMB) of oil during 20 years of exploitation. It is made up of four blocks: Akal, Nohoch, Chac, and Kutz, the most important one being Akal, which contains more than 90% of the oil reserves. Both heavy oil and gas, coming from Upper Cretaceous carbonate breccia, are produced from this field by 213 wells, using primary and secondary recovery methods.

The possibility of the existence of a prospective hydrocarbon trap located below the Cantarell Field was recognized in 1990, but due to the quality of geological and geophysical data and the structural complexity of the area, no exploratory drilling was carried out. The final exploratory results indicate that the new discovery, Sihil, surpasses all the expectations of the footwall, exceeding by far the quantities of oil reserves established by previous paradigms. This discovery allows Pemex Exploration and Production (PEP) to establish a strategic plan to add even more hydrocarbon reserves using data provided by investigation of other underlying blocks.

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