GTW Draws Global Audience to Brazil

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

Preparation for the FIFA World Cup was not the only event attracting international audiences to Brazil in May. AAPG’s Geosciences Technology Workshop (GTW) Brasil, “Stratigraphic Traps and Play Concepts in Deep Water Settings,” brought in 143 geoscientists representing 12 countries from the Americas, Europe and Asia.

The workshop, co-hosted by AAPG Latin America Region and the Associação Brasileira de Geólogos de Petróleo (ABGP), followed the 12th Brazilian Licensing Round in 2013, which opened 240 exploration blocks in frontier areas across Brazil’s emerging and matured basins.

GTW sessions provided participants with a greater understanding of geological and geophysical attributes of stratigraphic traps in deepwater settings, along with equatorial margin exploration analogs.

Brazilian native and AAPG member Flavio Feijó, a senior geologist working as teacher-mentor at Petrobras, said he attended the GTW to gain current knowledge on stratigraphic traps in deep water, as well as to meet up with old friends and to make new contacts.

“The workshop was a very pleasant experience, with good lectures and discussions and extensive networking during the breaks,” Feijó said. “I improved my knowledge of deepwater settings in general, and about Brazilian basins in particular.”

A significant portion of the workshop focused on stratigraphic traps in Brazil, including the Campos Basin, Pelotas Basin and Alagoas Basin, and a review of analogs from the Brazil Equatorial Margin frontier exploration initiative in deepwater stratigraphic plays along an oblique rifted margin.

But, as in the World Cup, Brazil was not the only player: the case histories and global analogs session included reviews of the eastern Mississippi Canyon protraction area of the Gulf of Mexico; cretaceous fan plays of the African Transform Margin and analogs from the Cretaceous play of the Jubilee Field; and new frontier basins in the South Atlantic Basins, including subtle traps in offshore West Africa.

Additional sessions highlighting evolving concepts on stratigraphic traps included studies of the Pelotas Basin in offshore Uruguay and the deepwater block of the Suriname-Guyana Basin on the West Atlantic Transform Margin.

The final session focused on the use of technology in defining stratigraphic traps and featured reviews of predictive tools for identifying traps, as well as the role of 3-D seismic and color seismic processing technology in defining stratigraphic traps.

The content was well received by participants, including AAPG member Peter Mullin, a new ventures manager at PanAtlantic Exploration in Houston, who found GTW sessions even more valuable to him than sessions he attended at AAPG’s larger annual and international conventions.

“These themed sessions are first class … They allow focus and in-depth analysis, which in turn can lead to break-through thinking,” Mullin said.

Session chair and AAPG member Jaime Buitrago, Mexico business development manager at ExxonMobil in Houston, agreed, stating, “The [GTW] format allows for people to focus on a subject without the usual overload of a large convention.”

Buitrago said he found GTW Brasil to be helpful, well organized and useful to a wide variety of participants. He said he benefitted personally by learning about effective, true stratigraphic traps.

“I was particularly impressed by Petrobras’ paper about the stratigraphic traps in Sergipe-Alagoas,” he said.

While two thirds of workshop participants came from Brazil, nearly one fourth came from the United States and Canada. Other countries represented included Argentina, Colombia, Jamaica, Suriname, the United Kingdom, Italy, Ireland, Norway and Malaysia.

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Regions and Sections

Emily Smith Llinás is programs manager for the AAPG Latin America Region, based in Bogotá, Colombia.

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