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Southern Argentine Basin: Is This the Better Half?

South Atlantic Basins Research Symposium Presentation
AAPG Distinguished Lecture

Authors: Eric Newman, NOPEC Geophysical (presenter); Randall Etherington, TGS

Located along the South Atlantic Margin, the Argentine Basin has a tremendous potential for significant commercial oil resources as indicated by the strong participation and work commitments of the highly successful First Offshore Argentina Bid Round in April 2019. During this round, only Blocks from the Northern portion of Argentine Basin were available for bid, and seven of the fourteen available Blocks were signed. Yet the intriguing geology and hydrocarbon potential present in Northern Argentine Basin extends to the South, and the potential may even be greater. The elements for a working petroleum system appear to be present across the Argentine Basin with proven Aptian source rock found in the conjugant basins of Namibia and South Africa. In addition, younger rich marine source rocks of Albian and Turonian age could also be present though yet unproven. These strata have been mapped using long-offset, broadband seismic and the burial history is sufficient to be oil mature. Further, reservoir and trap elements appear to be present in syn-rift and post-rift architectures lending to both structural and stratigraphic traps. Possibly most prospective is the turbidite fan and channel plays of the Upper Cretaceous. In Southern Argentina Basin these channels are focused into ponded sub-basins by a protuberant basement high thus concentrating the sand deposits much as the Demerara Plateau has focused turbidite channels into the Guyana Basin.


Eric Newman, TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company

Eric graduated as a Geophysical Engineer from the Colorado School of Mines. With 36 years of experiences, he is Geoscience Director – Latin America at TGS, Houston, where is responsible for basin evaluations and presentations to industry.

His previous experience include working in companies as Amoco in Latin America and Far East, Union Texas Petroleum in Pakistan and South Atlantic New Ventures, Apache Corporation in China and Egypt, Burlington Resources in China, Peru and Colombia, Newfield Exploration in China and Indonesia, BHP Billiton in Central Africa and India, Maersk Oil in Brazil and Norway NV, Hess in South Atlantic New Ventures.

Eric is a member of AAPG, SEG and HGS.

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