The Caribbean is one of world’s complicated “inter-plate deformation zones,” with a wide variety of exploration settings and plays. Caribbean evolution is directly responsible for the western hemisphere’s greatest hydrocarbon accumulations along northern South America.
This notoriously complex region has intrigued geoscientists for decades, and understanding the Caribbean plate’s origin and processes has inspired the life’s work of tectonic experts like course instructor James Pindell.
In his 1985 PhD thesis, Pindell developed a robust methodology for paleogeographic analysis of this region, providing a straightforward approach to explain the distinct stages of development by following standard textbook geological processes and principles.
In his method and his teaching, Pindell explains that the Caribbean’s apparent complexity is due only to the superposition of the geological manifestations of these distinct stages. Hydrocarbon source, reservoir, seal, trap and timing are considered each step of the way, and the evolutionary models allow a predictive element to exploration where data are poor or lacking.
Caribbean Paleogeographic Evolution and Hydrocarbon Exploration Framework provides an integrated, one-day summary of the primary findings and principles from more than 40 years of study and shows how those findings apply to individual nations and provinces around the Caribbean.
Throughout the course, Pindell shares knowledge gleaned through his study of subsurface data in numerous interactive work programs with the national oil companies (NOCs) and hydrocarbon commissions in Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Colombia, Barbados, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. Working collaboratively with needs-designed research teams, these programs have entailed extensive field and lab work, geochronology and paleontological dating, heavy mineral work, seismic and potential fields data interpretation, well/core observation and analysis, and geological integration and synthesis with documented plate motion histories.
Programs have been funded by international exploration companies since 1985 in the hopes of establishing working tectonic models and hydrocarbon generation histories at the regional, national and basin scales.
The lessons learned are many, and now knowledge gained over 40 years is available to participants with a single day through a series of lectures and Q&A sessions.
The course provides a fast-track summary of what we know, what we don’t know, and what needs to be done to understand the remaining problems.