ICE 2022


Petroleum systems modeling is a discipline that has become a critical tool for hydrocarbon exploration and is used by oil companies to predict on a regional scale the potential generation and accumulation of hydrocarbons in an area of interest. The choice of making a model in one dimension (1D), in two (2D) or in three (3D) is conditioned by the availability of existing data and the objectives of the project. Both the slope and basin floor of the Argentine Atlantic margin are highly underexplored. The study area includes the northern sector of the Argentine slope, in the so-called Cuenca Argentina Norte, located about 300 km offshore from the town of Mar del Plata. The results of recent seismic campaigns, in addition to the data obtained from wells on the African conjugate margin, have encouraged the exploration of the region. With the purpose to evaluate the critical processes that led to the generation and expulsion of hydrocarbons in this area a two-dimensional petroleum system model was built. The absence of well data generates great uncertainty regarding the physical and geochemical properties of the different elements of the system. In order to estimate the associated risk, and after considering the more suitable analogues, a sensitivity analysis on the basics elements of the petroleum system was performed. A regional W-E 2D seismic section, where the main sedimentary and morphostructural features were interpreted, was used for the construction of the physical model. The assumptions that were used to constrain the model properties and boundary conditions are also presented. The properties and processes related to the generation and expulsion of hydrocarbons within this context were analyzed, and the critical factors and processes of the system were defined. The sensitivity analysis presented in this work highlight those key factors to focus the analysis in order to limit the degree of uncertainty and consequent impact on the results.