ICE 2022


Exploration of the Caribbean margin of Colombia over the past decade have shown the presence of a thermogenic petroleum system based on piston core and gas samples recovered from exploratory wells. In this study, we integrate 2D seismic data, high-resolution bathymetry and published well information to better understand the potential source rocks, reservoirs, and seals and that may extend the play fairway of this petroleum system into deeper water areas of the Colombian maritime zone. The key source rock for the region is a Late Cretaceous, organic-rich limestone found both in an undeformed state covering large areas of the subducting Caribbean Large Igneous Province (CLIP) and in folded and thrusted state as part of the submarine accretionary prism of the overriding South American plate. These accreted rocks are known as the South Caribbean Deformed Belt (SCDB) and North Panama Deformed Belt (NPDB) in a deepwater settings and as the Sinu-San Jacinto belt in the subaerial, coastal setting of northern Colombia. Basin modeling in the Venezuela basin has shown that this Late Cretaceous source rock is locally mature at depth along the deeply buried but active trench axis of the SCDB. We review seismic reflection and well data along with previous natural seep and geochemical studies and direct hydrocarbon indicators to better constrain the location and thickness of the source rocks, carrier beds, reservoirs, and structural and stratigraphic traps from both the deformed accreted belts of the overriding plates and the undeformed and subducting Caribbean plate. A key element for maturation is the 68.000 km2 Magdalena fan that provides a 10-km-thick overburden and extends the maturity zone of the subducting Late Cretaceous source rocks further north into the Colombia basin.