The Burgos Miocene project, completed in February 2004, started in mid-December 2002 and was funded by
PEMEX Exploración y Producción. The study was a continuation of collaborative Bureau-PEMEX
investigations of the geologic framework, petroleum systems, and hydrocarbon plays of Neogene strata in
southeastern, eastern, and northern Mexico (Veracruz and Macuspana Basins and the Laguna Madre-Tuxpan area),
conducted from 2000 through the present time. This study extended analysis to the Miocene strata of the
onshore and offshore Burgos Basin of northeastern Mexico. The primary objectives of the project were to
define the sequence-stratigraphic, structural, petrophysical, geochemical, and petroleum-engineering
characteristics of the Miocene succession in the Burgos Basin. The emphasis of the project was to develop
a play framework to help guide PEMEX exploration efforts in the virtually unexplored offshore part of the
basin. The study used an extensive database comprising ~40,000 km of 2-D seismic lines, log suites from 122
wells, and a variety of production-test, gas-seep, and gas-show data.
The 15-month Burgos project defined and mapped 20 regional Miocene plays in 39,700 km 2 of the central
(onshore) and eastern (offshore) Burgos Basin. These plays were defined on the basis of age (four Miocene
chronostratigraphic zones) and five mappable areas (unexpanded shelf, expanded shelf, slope, basin-floor,
and diapiric onlap), extending offshore to the 500-m isobath. Ranking of the plays involved a qualitative
procedure based on a systematic evaluation of five key play elements: reservoir presence and quality, trap,
seal, source, and migration. The study also provided a structural, stratigraphic, and play framework for
existing PEMEX prospects and future exploration areas in the basin.
The Miocene plays are structurally complex and are characterized by local and regional detachment systems,
growth faults, and an associated regionwide pattern of downthrown extensional rollover folds, pervasive
secondary faults, and salt and shale diapiric masses that dominate the east part of the basin. The Burgos
Basin appears to be a transitional zone between gravitational collapse in offshore Mexican basins to the
south and salt-related raft tectonics of the South Texas Gulf Coast. The basin thus offers high promise for
gas reservoirs containing a variety of trap styles.