Onshore Argentina Explorers Package

Discover Geoscience, in collaboration with Searcher have created an explorers package for onshore Mendoza. Discover has undertaken a post-drill well analysis of the key exploration and discovery wells across the basins. 

The well atlas covers both conventional and unconventional plays. With 2D and 3D seismic and well data curated specifically for explorers evaluating the prospective Neuqun and Cuyo Basins in the Mendoza province. With a long drilling history which began in 1887 in the Cuyo Basin and the presence of the Vaca Muerta world class source rock, as well as proven prolific reservoirs with many traps still undrilled, this is a very exciting Province in which to explore.

The data consists of ~40,000 km of 2D, ~10,000 square km 3D and ~50 conditioned wells. This can all be accessed through Searcher’s web-based platform for ease of access. 

Karyna Rodriguez, Vice President Global New Ventures at Searcher, said the package is fully supported by the Mendoza provincial government and aligns with the proposed onshore acreage release which signifies an exciting time for explorers in the region.

“Onshore seismic data is notoriously difficult and time consuming to access, verify and load. The project brings all available data together into a seamless package with access provided via a simple web interface allowing screening and downloading from anywhere in the world. It really is a game changer and enables the Mendoza government to showcase the acreage on offer to a global audience.”

Onshore Prospectivity

The province of Mendoza has the first oil wells, drilled in 1887 by the Mendocina Petroleum Company, in  the northern  Cuyo Basin. Originating as a Triassic rift, its sedimentary section evolved from proximal fan systems to river and lake deposits, with a marked pyroclastic influence, which has influenced reservoir properties. The Jurassic river deposits of the Barrancas Fm are associated with the largest hydrocarbon accumulations. Andean compression reactivated rift faults, generating hydrocarbon traps. Reservoirs are mainly conventional with some production from the tuffaceous and andesitic levels of the Cabras Fm. The source rock is the lacustrine Cacheuta Fm, kerogen  Type I, COT 3 to 10%, and thicknesses of 50 to 400 m, although its maturation level is low on a regional scale, it reaches its maximum generation capacity in the Tupungato area, in the west of the basin. It has future potential as an unconventional reservoir.

The northern part of the Neuquen Basin is located in the south of the province. The first wells (Cerro Alquitrán) date back to the beginning of the last century. They were drilled in the vicinity of oil seeps associated with andesitic intrusive bodies, attracting the attention of well-known specialists such as Frederic H. Lahee who visited the region in 1923. The sedimentary section began in a Triassic rift and continued with Jurassic marine and Cretaceous backarc deposits, undergoing intense compressional tectonics that favored the development of fractured reservoirs of the Mendoza Gr. (calcareous levels of the Agrio and Chachao formations). Hydrocarbon accumulations in Tertiary igneous bodies that intruded the Mendoza Gr. have also been important. The continental sandstones of the Neuquén Group were one of the last conventional reservoirs discovered. In terms of unconventional reservoirs the Vaca Muerta (kerogen type II and COT 2-7%) and Agrio (Kerogen type  I and  COT  0-2%) formations have great potential. The potential of the first has been proven by several wells and its location in the fold and thrust belt provides interesting additional potential.

The onshore data library complements Searcher’s offshore coverage which consists of 156,000 km of 2D, 12,000 square kilometres of 3D, 19,000 km of broadband reprocessed 2D, an extensive well database and a regional study.