Assessment of Undiscovered Conventional Oil and Gas Resources of South America and the Caribbean, 2012
RESTON, VA, U.S.A. — The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assessed the potential for undiscovered conventional oil and gas fields within priority geologic provinces of South America and the Caribbean as part of the USGS World Petroleum Resources Project (fig. 1).
The following Caribbean geologic provinces are covered in the report:
- Guyana-Suriname Basin (map nr. 5)
- Tobago Trough (map nr. 28)
- Barbados Accretionary Prism (map nr. 29)
- North Cuba Basin of Greater Antilles Deformed Belt (map nr. 30)
- Bahamas Platform (map nr. 31)
The methodology for the assessment included a complete geologic framework description for each province based mainly on published literature and definition of petroleum systems and assessment units (AU) within these systems. Exploration and discovery history was a critical part of the methodology to determine sizes and numbers of undiscovered accumulations. In those AUs with few or no discoveries, geologic and production analogs were used to estimate sizes and numbers of undiscovered oil and gas accumulations. Each assessment unit was assessed for undiscovered oil and nonassociated gas accumulations, and co-product ratios were used to calculate the volumes of associated gas (gas in oil fields) and volumes of natural gas liquids. This assessment is for conventional oil and gas resources only; unconventional resource assessments (shale gas, shale oil, tight gas) for this region are being completed in a separate study.
The provinces assessed in this study represent a wide range of tectonic settings and evolution, stratigraphic fill, thermal evolution, petroleum systems, and exploration history. There are many provinces in this region that have been maturely explored, such as Maracaibo Basin, Neuquen Basin, Magallanes Basin, and Llanos Basin, whereas several provinces have few or no discoveries, such as Salado-Punta del Este, Parnaiba, and Bahama Platform. The range of resource estimates for each province reflects the geologic uncertainty.
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