Linking the Mexico and U.S. Gulf Coast: Geologic Framework and
Play Definition Research in the Laguna Madre-Tuxpan Area
William A. Ambrose, principal investigator; Khaled Fouad, Shinichi Sakurai, L. Frank Brown, Jr., Edgar H. Guevara, Daniel D. Schultz-Ela, Timothy F. Wawrzyniec, Suhas Talukdar, Dallas B. Dunlap, Luis Sánchez-Barreda, Alfredo Guzmán, Mario Aranda, Ulises Hernández, Ramon Cárdenas, Héctor Ruiz, Juan Alvarado, Santiago Sarmiento, and Eduardo Macias (PEMEX) 
A new, 18-month evaluation of basin-scale oil and gas systems in the Laguna Madre-Tuxpan area, located north of the Veracruz Basin, Mexico, demonstrates that a variety of plays and exploration opportunities exist in downdip areas in basin-floor and slope systems. Other areas of the basin in major fault-bounded depocenters contain numerous three-way fault-seal opportunities at many stratigraphic levels. Identification and mapping of these plays will yield a structural and stratigraphic framework for existing prospects and hold the promise of helping us identify a spectrum of additional opportunities in the basin.
Click on graphic for larger view and description.

This study, conducted by Bureau and PEMEX teams in Poza Rica and Tampico, will define major Miocene and Pliocene plays in the offshore Gulf of Mexico between the Veracruz and 90
Basins offshore to a water depth of 500 m. The study area covers six 3-D surveys and intervening 2-D seismic lines and links the Veracruz and Burgos Basins.

Plays in the Laguna Madre-Tuxpan study are defined from mappable geologic attributes. This study uses a threefold definition for plays based on (1) sequence-stratigraphic occurrence and age, (2) facies association, and (3) trap. Examples of Laguna Madre-Tuxpan plays defined in this study are the Upper Miocene Slope Channel/Levees and Upper Miocene Canyon, Stratigraphic Trap plays.

Laguna Madre-Tuxpan plays are structurally and stratigraphically complex, affording us a unique opportunity to examine a complete coast-to-basin succession from valley fill to basin floor over a distance of less than 25 km. A dynamic, tectonically active setting, coupled with an abundant sediment supply, has resulted in a greatly telescoped system. Narrow shelf margins in the Laguna Madre-Tuxpan area represent an end member in the spectrum of shelf-margin types and should be of significant worldwide interest.

For more infomation, please contact Bill Ambrose, principal investigator. Telephone 512-471-0258; e-mail
February 2003