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Northern Argentina

South America

In response to industry-wide interest and support, Core Laboratories has prepared a non-exclusive study of the regional petroleum geochemistry of the Noroeste and Chacoparanense Basins in northern Argentina.

The principal objectives of this study were as follows:

Noroeste Basin (Northwest)

  • Determine the number, character, and distribution of genetically distinct oil families
  • Identify and map the quality of each source unit in the region
  • Correlate produced oils with effective source areas and identify probable migration pathways
  • Measure maturity levels, and mathematically model hydrocarbon generation and oil preservation limits throughout the region
  • Identify the most attractive areas for future exploration based on source yields, thermal maturity, and oil migration directions

Chacoparanense Basin (Northeast)

  • Determine the quantity, type and hydrocarbon-generating potential of organic matter in the stratigraphic section
  • Measure the present thermal maturity level of the sediments and define depths of the oil window
  • Quantify the amount of hydrocarbons generated
  • Calculate the timing of hydrocarbon generation

To meet these objectives, the Northern Argentinean Basins study integrated results of analyses performed on twenty-six (26) oils and several thousand rock samples from ninety (90) wells. Source rock distribution, type, and thermal maturity level were determined through systematic analysis of well cuttings. Results of source rock analyses are presented in a series of maps showing regional variation in thickness, quality, and thermal maturity. A series of computerized maturation models integrated with the regional geological framework complement the maturity measurements obtained in the laboratory.

Detailed analyses of oils from the Noroeste Basin were used to correlate oil families with their source intervals. This approach helped delineate the regional distribution of mature source rocks and correlative oils, thus allowing for an assessment of migration paths and distances.



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