Conference Paper

The Orinoco Turbidite System: An Analogue for Trinidad and Tobago offshore clastic reservoirs

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The importance of the existence of an accurate sedimentological model for any oil field is well known and Tertiary Columbus Basin is not an exception. Generally, a good analog system is more helpful than a universal conceptual model. In disagreement with previous considerations, the detailed sedimentological study of cores and outcrops suggest that main sandstone reservoirs of Columbus Basin were probably accumulated far away from the littoral delta. Recently, Wood and Mize-Spansky (2009) and Callec et al. (2010) provided a complete characterization of the Orinoco turbidite system, which is a medium to large size clastic distribution system capable to transfer huge amounts of sands for more than 500 km away from the present location of the delta front. Core photographs of recent deposits taken from the sea bottom presented by Callec et al. (2010) exhibit similar facies, biomarkers and fossil content than those present in cores of the Tertiary sandstones in the Columbus Basin. The distribution of sandstone accumulations appears highly controlled by the basin topography (tectonics & mud volcanoes, Wood and Mize-Spansky, 2009) in a similar way respect to that observed in the sandstone reservoirs of Columbus Basin. The analogies observed with recent deposits allowed the construction of paleogeographic maps for the Miocene and Pleistocene. An important conclusion of this study is that the main sandstone reservoirs in the study area were not accumulated in delta front areas of littoral deltas but in a turbidite (hyperpycnal) system. The scale and overall facies distribution of these deposits can be obtained from a comparison with the actual turbidite fan related to the Orinoco delta. Scale and facies types found in the Columbus Basin area indicate that Miocene sandstones probably extend farther basinward from the study area.

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