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New Data on Foz do Amazonas and Pará-Maranhão Basins - Potential Replication of Guyana/Suriname Success

South Atlantic Basins Research Symposium Presentation
AAPG Distinguished Lecture

Authors: Pedro Victor Zalan (presenter), ZAG Consulting in Petroleum Exploration; Eric Newman, Mike Saunders, TGS

With the fantastic exploratory success obtained by ExxonMobil and Apache in Guyana and Suriname it is logical to follow the trend southeastwards, passing through the Zaedyus discovery in French Guyana, into the Foz do Amazonas and Pará-Maranhão Basins in Brazil (Figure 1). The northern portion of the FOZ, bordering French Guyana, had several blocks adjudicated to majors that had acquired 3D seismic and defined several drilling locations aiming stratigraphic traps similar to the discoveries further north.

New long-offset, broadband reprocessed, 2D seismic data acquired in deep/ultra-deep waters in the southern part of the FOZ and in PAMA, have unraveled the exciting geology and the enormous petroleum potential of these basins. Three distinct seismic-stratigraphic sequences were mapped in the Drift Sequence: (1) a basal unit composed of Late Albian-Coniacian source rocks, plus abundant turbidite bodies, followed by (2) an intermediate unit displaying low-energy seismic facies, typical of effective seal strata, plus Santonian-Lower Paleogene turbidite bodies, capped by (3) Upper Paleogene-Neogene shales/claystones and enormous amounts of turbidite bodies (Figure 2). The source rock strata had been downwarped by the load exerted by the Amazon Cone and by huge volcanic edifices to depths spanning the entire thermal maturation range (Figure 2). One regional and one local HC kitchens were mapped. HCs emanating from these kitchens tend to migrate towards the compensation highs created in response to these downwarps in the Pará-Maranhão Basin (Figure 2). On these migration routes innumerous stratigraphic and mixed traps were identified, some with very large dimensions, some with strong DHI response (Figures 3-6). The scenario is ready for the replication of the exploratory success happening in Guyana and Suriname and, across the Ocean, in Ghana and Ivory Coast.


Pedro Victor Zalán, ZAG Consulting in Petroleum Exploration

Pedro holds a MSc and a PhD from the Colorado School of Mines. With 42 years of experience in the industry, he is independent consultant in petroleum exploration at ZAG Consulting in Petroleum Exploration, in Rio de Janeiro. He worked for 34 years in Petrobras.

Pedro is a member of AAPG and ABGP.

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