05 July, 2018 Sigüenza Guadalajara Spain

Geology of Middle America – The Gulf of Mexico, Yucatan, Caribbean, Grenada and Tobago Basins and Their Margins

2-5 July 2018
Sigüenza, Spain
Sponsored By:


Conference Description

The conference will address the geology of the area from the southern onshore of N America to the northern onshore of S America, including the Gulf of Mexico, Bahamas Platform, Yucatán, Caribbean (Colombia, Venezuela), Grenada and Tobago basins and adjacent Atlantic. Integration will improve understanding and promote investigation of lesser-explored/debated areas, such as the Caribbean. Recent seismic and drilling discoveries from other offshore frontiers will help assessment of their hydrocarbon potential.

Conference Overview

Administration for this conference is being handled in Spain by the Asociación Congresos Geologícos Sigüenza (ACGS).

This is a past event. Registration is closed.

Recent industry discoveries/activity in the Middle Americas.

Intense exploration is underway in the Mexican, SW Gulf of Mexico, extending to eastern Yucatán. The TGS multiclient 2D Gigante survey in the Gulf is the largest in the world. Together with coring and geochemical analysis it will allow detailed evaluation of the whole Campeche basin, where Mexico plans to drill its first pre-salt well, YAXXTAAB-1.

  • BHP has just signed a contract to drill in the Gulf and the Caribbean. The company holds large licenses offshore Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados and recently drilled the first Caribbean deepwater well – LeClerc–1, discovering gas (3-5 Tcf +deep oil shows – a new deepwater oil fairway?). Two more deepwater wells are planned.
  • SE of Trinidad BP has begun production from the Juniper gas field, is to develop the Angelin gas field and intends to drill five wells.
  • Anadarko/Ecopetrol discovered new play Kronos (1 Tcf+), Gorgon gas fields, offshore Colombia.
  • Ecopetrol/Petrobras/Repsol/Statoil discovered gas with Orca-1, offshore Colombia.
  • ENI drilled Amoca-3 in Mexico’s Campeche Bay, confirming reserves of 1 billion bbls oil.
  • ExxonMobil/Hess have made major (3.2 billion bbls) oil discoveries at Liza, Payara, Snoek, Liza Deep, Turbot (sandstones) and Ranger (new, carbonate play) offshore Guyana
  • ExxonMobil/Hess/Statoil have licensed adjacent acreage offshore Suriname. The Guyana-Suriname Basin is a new, world class oil region.
  • PDVSA/Repsol/Eni discovered gas at La Perla (16 TCF in new Palaeogene carbonate play, offshore NW Venezuela.
  • Premier/Talos/Sierra discovered 1.4 – 2 billions bbls in the Zama-1 well, in a previously unexplored shallow area offshore Mexico.
  • Repsol/BP discovered 2 Tcf gas in Savannah and Macadamia wells SE of Trinidad, the largest discovery in the last 10 years.
  • Repsol concluded a seismic survey in Guyana.
  • Shell is to develop Venezuela’s offshore Dragon gas field (part of the 15 Tcf, Rio Caribe, Mejillones, Patao, Mejillones, Dragon complex), linking it to Trinidad’s Hibiscus platform (the on-trend Hibiscus, Poinsettia, Chaconia fields, 2.4 Tcf).
  • Tullow is exploring offshore SW Jamaica (oil seeps) and is to record 3D seismic updip of Liza and in the adjacent Orinduik licence offshore Guyana.
  • ION Geophysical has expanded by 50% a seismic survey offshore Panama in response to increased industry interest and prefunding.
  • Grenada has a rumoured offshore gas discovery, Nutmeg-2.
  • Mexico’s Jan. 31 deepwater auction: ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell , Chevron, BP, Statoil, Total, BHP Billiton, Lukoil, CNOOC.

The new play discoveries of multi-Tcf gas and giant oil fields indicate great potential and herald increasing interest in the area.

Who should attend?

Geologists, geophysicists, entrepreneurs, National Oil Companies, engineers, New Ventures executives in independent oil companies, venture capitalists, analysts (big data / artificial intelligence) for modeling.


This conference will discuss the geology of the area from the southern onshore of N America and the Bahamas Platform to the northern onshore of S America, including the intervening Gulf of Mexico, Yucatán, Caribbean (Colombia, Venezuela), Grenada and Tobago marine basins, and the adjacent Atlantic.

While the onshore areas of N and S America are highly explored, others are less so, for reasons of lesser interest/perceived commercial value and poor exposure/access.

The Gulf of Mexico is also well known, yet sophisticated geophysics and drilling continue to reveal new data, understanding and rewarding hydrocarbons plays. The area shows a Mesozoic – Recent history of intracontinental extension.

The Yucatán, Caribbean (Colombia, Venezuela basins), Grenada and Tobago basins are not well known. Prevailing understanding is that they originated in the Pacific Ocean and became engulfed by westward-migrating Americas since the late Cretaceous. They would carry only Cenozoic hydrocarbon potential above Mesozoic oceanic crust. This model arose along with Plate Tectonic theory in the mid 60’s.

Alternative understanding is that they evolved by intracontinental extension. They share history of with the Gulf of Mexico and offshore eastern N America. In this case, Mesozoic stratigraphy would include red beds, salt, source rocks and thick carbonate sections offering hydrocarbon potential in addition to the Cenozoic section.

Is this important? It is anomalous that after 50 years of discussion we still have not determined the origin of the large area between the hydrocarbon-rich Gulf of Mexico and northern South America, where continuing exploration and discovery show that much remains to be learned. For geological and commercial reasons, Middle America merits integrated, regional study.

After debate in the AAPG Explorer (Historical Highlights, Explorer Magazine August 2012, July 2013, July 2015 and Readers’ Forum, September 2013) on the geology and origin of the Caribbean it is appropriate to move to a "round table", where latest data may be presented, different understandings and ways to distinguish among these are discussed, and perhaps a most likely model defined.

Recent learning from the S Atlantic (Brazil and west Africa), Central Atlantic (Ivory Coast and Guyana/Surinam), offshore E Africa (Mozambique Channel) and the eastern Mediterranean, the Scotia Sea and even New Zealand are also highly relevant. Improved knowledge will assist countries and companies to consider the geology and resources of an area strategically located between N and S America. It should also feed back to global understanding.

Technical Themes
  • Geology of onshore southern United States and Mexico.
  • Geology of the Greater and Lesser Antilles, Central America, northern S America.
  • Geology of eastern offshore N America, Bahamas Platform, deep Gulf of Mexico, Cayman Trough, Yucatan, Caribbean, Grenada, Tobago Basins, Barbados.
  • Palaeontology, stratigraphy.
  • Metamorphic and igneous geology, ophiolites.
  • Seismic, Gravity, magnetic, satellite data, tomography, zircon studies.
  • Geology of Atlantic margins.
  • Evolution/synthesis of Middle America/Caribbean.
  • Hydrocarbon geology, recent offshore discoveries northern S America, Atlantic, eastern Mediterranean, east Africa



Program Overview
Monday July 2
  • Presentations
  • Short field trip, 1.5 hours, (in the evening on foot, near hotel)
  • Posters
  • Breakouts Discussions
Tuesday July 3
  • Presentations
  • Posters
  • Breakouts Discussions
Wednesday July 4
  • Presentations
  • Afternoon field trip (within 30 km of hotel)
  • Posters
  • Breakouts Discussions
Thursday July 5
  • Presentations
  • Wrap up
Full Program
Accepted Papers
Tectonic Fabric of Middle America, Pacific and in-Situ Models for the Caribbean Plate
James, Keith
Gulf of Mexico, Bahamas
What Caused Rifting in the Gulf of Mexico and Why Might It Matter to Me? Stratigraphic and Thermal Implications
Keppie, Fraser
Plate Tectonics Evolution of Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico Since the Late Triassic
Padilla y Sanchez, Ricardo Jose, UNAM
Two-Phase Mesozoic Opening of the Gulf of Mexico Using Regional Gravity, Well, Seismic Reflection Data from Both Conjugate Margins
P. Mann, A. Steier, and P. Lin
Paleogene Canyons and Contemporaneous Oil Seeps, Tampico-Misantla Basin, Eastern Mexico
Cossey, Steve
Modern Sedimentation and Sediment Distribution in the Gulf of Mexico
John Decker, Pieter van Heiningen, Nuretdin Kaymakci, Philip A. Teas, Daniel L. Orange
Bahamas – Cuba Margin, An Untested, Frontier Oil Province
Randolph G. Hiscock
Tectonic Driven Changes in Tertiary Burgos Basin Sediment Provenance, Gulf of Mexico
P.S. van Heiningen1 and N. Kaymakci 
Miocene Compressional Tectonics in the Campeche Basin, Mexico
Ian Davison talk
Structural and Stratigraphic Constraints on the Relationship Between Extension and Landscape Evolution in the Early Mesozoic Eastern Gulf of Mexico
Amy L. Weislogel
Central America
Synthesis of Terrane Stratigraphy and Assembly of S-Central America
Baumgartner, Andjic, Baumgartner-Mora, Buchs, Barat
Radiolarian Biochronology and Paleoceanography of Proto-Caribbean Vs.Pacific Terranes in Central America and the Caribbean
Baumgartner, Andjic,  Sandoval, Bandini, Dieserens, Flores
Coniacian-Santonian Organic-Rich Loma Chumico Formation of N-Costa Rica: An Expression of Oceanic Anoxic Event
Andjic, Baumgartner, Baumgartner-Mora
Subaerial Development of the Caribbean Large Igneous Province Documented by Accreted Sequences in Colombia
Buchs et al.
Evolution and Dynamics of Arc-Related Sedimentary Basins in Southern Central America
Brandes, C. And Winsemann, J.
Geology of the Isthmus of Panama, Onshore Synthesis and Offshore Implications
Camilo Montes
Northern South America
Structure of the Sinu Fold Belt Between the Magdalena Fan and the Uramita Fault (Offshore Northwest Colombia)
Indira Rodríguez, Mayte Bulnes, Josep Poblet
Colombia Sinu Offshore Basin Tectonic Evolution, Depositional Models, and Impact of the Panama Arc-South America Collision
Fanchen Kong
Basement Characterization and Tectonic Evolution of the Guajira Peninsula
Asensio, Albert
Lithospheric Structure of Northwestern Venezuela: Implications for the Understanding of Continental Margins Evolution. Theme: Seismic, Gravity, Magnetic, Satellite Data, Tomography, Zircon Studies.
Mazuera, Fernando
The Depositional Environment of Miocene Carbonates from the Central Range, Trinidad:  Facies of an Underexplored Reservoir
Alexander Pollard
Revisiting Shelf Margin Delta Progradational Systems and Stratigraphic-Structural Hydrocarbon Plays on South America’s Atlantic Margin - Columbus Basin, Trinidad
Stanley Rich Wharton
Greater Antilles
Crustal Structure and Evolution of the Nicaraguan Rise from Regional Gravity, Well, and Seismic Reflection Data
P. Mann, L.C. Carvajal, J. Sanchez, and B. Ott, Mann, Paul
Eocene Basin Development and Sedimentation Patterns in Central and Western Jamaica
Mitchell, Simon  
The Value of Onshore Geology for Caribbean Offshore Exploration: Walton Basin, Jamaica
Jim Hendry: Tullow
Tectonic Blocks and Basin Evolution from the Late Cretaceous to Paleogene in Eastern Jamaica
Mitchell, Simon Title
New Constraints on the Tectono-Sedimentary Evolution of the San Pedro Basin (South-Eastern Dominican Republic Offshore Margin): Implications for Its Hydrocarbon Potential.
Gorosabel-Araus, J.M.
The Muertos Margin (NE Caribbean): A Review of the Crustal Structure and Its Tectonic Significance 
Granja-Bruña, J.L.
Submarine Morpho-Structure and Active Processes Along the North American-Caribbean Boundary Plate (Dominican Republic Sector)
Lesser Antilles
Tomographic Imaging of Lesser Antilles Slab; Significance for Estimating the Age and Amount of Eastward Motion of the Overriding Caribbean Plate
Mann, Paul Title
Caribbean Plate
Basement Configuration in the Colombian Basin from Potential Field Data
Antonio Olaiz and Margot Swank
Fault Characterization in the Colombia Basin, Southern Caribbean: Implications for Lithology, Stress State, and Exploration Risk
Joseph R. Jacobs, Troy D. Waller II*, Scott J. Wilkins, Cody S. Comiskey, Matthew G. Morris
Crustal GRAV/MAG Modeling of the Caribbean- South American Plate Boundary, at Venezuelan Central Coast”
Villarroel, Vanessa  
New Evidence for Spreading Ridge, Colombia Basin, Southern Caribbean
Troy D. Waller II, Brian R. Frost
Subaerial Development of the Caribbean Large Igneous Province Documented by Accreted Sequences in Colombia
Buchs et al. 
Integrated Tectonic Evolution of the Aves Remnant Arc, Lesser Antilles Active Volcanic Arc, Tobago Forearc, and Barbados Accretionary Prism of the Southeastern Caribbean: P. Mann, S. Gomez, and T. Alvarez
Mann, Paul Title
Tectonic Models – Their Influence on Exploration Decision-Making Across the Greater Caribbean
Madeleine Slatford: Tullow  
Is There Salt on the Caribbean Plate?
James, Keith
Middle Eocene Wildflysch and Carbonate Rocks of Middle America; What Do They Signify?
James, Keith
Circum-Caribbean Hydrocarbon Indications
James, Keith
High Potential, Undeveloped, Deep Cretaceous Reservoirs in Lake Maracaibo Basin
Aymard, Richard 
Barbados Petroleum and Its Role in Understanding Source Rock Distribution in the Southern Caribbean Region
Cedeño, Amdres, S. Ohm and Alejandro Escalona
An Evaluation of the Trinidad Complex Plate Boundary Setting Using Gravimetric and Magnetic Modelling - Implications for Hydrocarbons Occurrences.
Mata, Orietta
Palaeoenvironments and Potential of Cretaceous and Paleogene Source Rocks in Jamaica
Cherry, Soraya
Estimacion de Facies Geologicas Y Propiedades Petorfisicas Mediante La Generación de un Modelo Geoestadistico Del Miembro Morichal Campo Cerro Negro (F.P.O).
Garcia, C., Dasilva, C, Coordero O
Caracterización Mineralógica en Muestras de Núcleos y Ripios de Perforación Para Comprender el Comportamiento de los Registros Convencionales de Pozos. Yacimiento de Alta Radioactividad Y Baja Resistividad en el Campo Dobokubi-FPO.
Luis Matute
Estimacion de Arcillosidad y Porosidad en Las Arenas Inferiores de la Formacion Oficina en el Bloque Junin de la Faja Petrolifera del Orinoco Utilizando Redes Neuronales a Partir de Datos Sismicos Multicomponentes Invertidos
Tabares, J.PDVSA, Perez, A. Petrocedeno
Offshore Colombia Hydrocarbon Potential, Southern Caribbean
Troy D. Waller II, David M. Jones, Joseph R. Jacobs, Istvan Barany, Karilys Castillo, Craig Markey, Fanchen Kong
Unlocking Hydrocarbon Potential of the Caribbean Plate with the New Deep Strata Survey Approach
Nikitin, Aleksandr, Nick Amelin, Andrei Iakovlev
Caribbean Hydrocarbon Potential from Regional Seismic Data Analysis
Rodriguez, Karyna; Hodgson, Neil
Fracture Identification and Evaluation with Borehole Images and Innovative Gas Chromatography in Mature Field of Mexico
S. Khan
Kenya's World Class Lacustrine Source Rock: A Geochemical Analysis and Proven Petroleum System
Lee Anderson1, Jorg Grimmer1, Laura Cajas1, Gregori Rodrigo1, Ramon Gomez1, Ester Cuñado1, Maria Flor Garcia2
1CEPSA E&P S.A. Torre Cepsa, Paseo de la Castellana 259A, 28046 Madrid, Spain
2CEPSA S.A.U. Centro de Investigacion, Avenida Punto Com 1, 28805 Alcala de Henares, Spain
The Origin of Supergiant Hydrocarbon Accumulations (Isotope Geochemical and Geodynamic Aspects) Title
Boris Valyaev
Exploration Potential in NW Cuba
Ian Davison
On a New Tectono-Sedimentary Model of the South-Eastern Margin of Hispaniola Poster
A Geological Perspective on the Formation of the Isthmus of Panama
Buchs et al.
Tectonic Controls and Sedimentary Evolution of the Gulf of Venezuela
Navas, Rocío; Escalona, Alejandro; Ramírez, Rafael
Structure of the Sinu Fold Belt Between the Magdalena Fan and the Uramita Fault (Offshore Northwest Colombia)
Rodriguez, Indira, U of Oviedo
On a New Tectono-Sedimentary Model of the South-Eastern Margin of Hispaniola
Gorosabel-Araus et al.
Preliminary Results of the Along- and Across-Strike Crustal Structure in the Northern Hispaniola Margin
Rodríguez-Zurrunero et al
Parador de Turismo de Sigüenza
Plaza del Castillo 19250 Sigüenza
+34 949 39 01 00
Sigüenza, Spain - Parador de Turismo de Sigüenza Sigüenza, Spain - Parador de Turismo de Sigüenza No Flag 44527 Parador de Turismo de Sigüenza

Sigüenza is a small, mediaeval city east of Madrid (130 km) and its international airport (115 km), easily reached by highway or train.

The 4 star Siguenza Parador Hotel, a 12th century castle that served the Moors, El Cid and bishops, provides a magnificent conference setting, stately accommodation and fine local cuisine and wine. Spectacularly set upon a hill of red, Triassic sandstone, it stands above the ancient arches, walls and narrow, stone-paved streets and the magnificent cathedral of the old city centre.

Nearby restaurants and bars offer pleasant evenings in the streets and a fine plaza. Participants can escape to this special ambiance while remaining together, continuing discussion.

Nearby excellent exposures of Triassic rift-related red beds, evaporites and andesite and overlying Jurassic - Cretaceous clastic and carbonate rocks provide an easily visited record of breakup history.



Events Coordinator +1 918 560-9431
Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/mahan-amy2.jpg?width=75&quality=90&encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 29 Amy Mahan
Director, Innovation and Emerging Science and Technology +1 918 560 2604
Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/nash-susan.jpg?width=75&quality=90&encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 28 Susan Nash, Ph.D.

What Can I Do?

Add Item

Enter Notes:
* You must be logged in to name and customize your collection.
Recommend Recommend
Printable Version Printable Version Email to a friend Email to a friend

AAPG Non-endorsement Policy

The American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) does not endorse or recommend any products and services that may be cited, used or discussed in AAPG publications or in presentations at events associated with AAPG.