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Chapter 1

Petroleum Geology of Venezuela

General geology The history of oil exploration in Venezuela Petroleum basins

PETROLEUM GEOLOGY OF VENEZUELA

Figure 1.0

100,000 m

200,000 m

300,000 m

400,000 m

500,000 m

600,000 m

700,000 m

800,000 m

900,000

1,300,000 m

La Vela offshore

Gulf of Venezuela
Coro

La Vela

Cumarebo

Caribbean Sea

Fig
Ri

1.43

El Mamn

1,200,000 m

er
Sibucara

Tiguale Las Palmas Hombre Pintado Media Maracaibo La Mene de Maurda Concepcin Ambrosio Boscn Cabimas Ta Juana Lagunillas Bachaquero Mene Grande Lama Lago Ceuta Lamar centro Tomoraro Barquisimeto San Juan de los Morros Motatn
o

Gu a

La Paz

Tocu y o

Ri v

W.Mara Mara

sa re

FALCON

er

San Felipe

D.F.
Maracay Valencia

Caracas

LARA YARACUY

CARABOBO ARAGUA

Riv
Los Teques
Tu
y

1,100,000 m Alturitas

Urdaneta

Yucal - Placer Jobal Roblecito Valle Punzn


1. 48

ZULIA
El Rosario Ro de Oro 1,000,000 m

Trujillo

San Carlos

MIRANDA

er R iv

Ca

tat u

Lake Maracaibo

COJEDES TRUJILLO PORTUGUESA


Guanare
1. 36 fig
F ig

Tucupido Copa Macoya Saban Ipire Bella Vista


Fig

Las Mercedes

Los Manueles Las Cruces Tarra Mrida

Dakoa Guavinita Ruiz Beln Palacio

Barinas

900,000 m

TACHIRA
San Cristbal La Alquitrana 800,000 m La Victoria Guafita
Ri auca ver Ar

ur

rico R ive r

San Fernando de Apure

APURE
Arauca R i ver

BOLIVAR

Legend
Oil field 700,000 m Gas field Condensate field Oil + Condensate field 0 0 600,000 m 100,000 m 200,000 m 300,000 m 400,000 m 500,000 m 600,000 m 700,000 m 800,000 m 900,000 20 40 20 State Boundaries Cross Section State Capitol River 60 80 100 120 km 40 60 80 miles
Meta River

COLOMBIA

Location map of oil fields in Venezuela.

Fig

Ri

r ve

Apure River
G u

BARINAS

Sinco

1.48

Silvestre

GUARICO

at

MERIDA

Silvn

fig 1. 40
F ig 1. 48

MACHETE
aR i

1.45
er

00 m

700,000 m

800,000 m

900,000 m

1,000,000 m

1,100,000 m

1,200,000 m

1,300,000 m

1,400,000 m

1,300,000 m

Tobago

Caribbean Sea
Margarita Island Mejillones La Asuncin Ro Caribe Patao

Dragn

N. ESPARTA
Coche Cubagua

1,200,000 m

SUCRE D.F.
Maracay
Fig

Trinidad Gulf of Paria


er

Caracas

Cuman

Jua San R

1.5

iv

BO ARAGUA
San Juan de los Morros

Riv
Los Teques
Tu
y

r
Barcelona Quiamare

MIRANDA

MONAGAS
Manresa Jusepn Pirital La Ceiba Tacat Greater Oficina area Quiriquire Orocual
Pe de rn al

Yucal - Placer Jobal Roblecito Valle Punzn


4 1. 8

ANZOATEGUI
Tucupido Copa Macoya Saban Ipire Bella Vista
Fig

Greater Anaco area

Maturin El Furrial Carito G ua nip a Santa Brbara

re iv Tig R e

ig

Dakoa Guavinita Las Mercedes Ruiz Beln Palacio

Un ar e
Barso

Greater Temblador area Temblador


Riv e

Posa 1,100,000 m Loran Tajali

es

ive r

DELTA

r
Morichal

Jobo Piln Bitor Area Cerro Negro

Bombal Uracoa Tucupita

1,000,000 m

1.45

1. F ig

48

ORINOCO
Fig 1.50

BELT
Fig PAO

1.48

rico R ive r

Aro iv R

Fig

G u

ZUATA

er

Caroni

Apure River

Ciudad Bolvar

Ri

GUARICO

San Fernando de Apure

BOLIVAR

00 m

700,000 m

800,000 m

900,000 m

ua

MACHETE

Ori n

1.50

HAMACA

River co

er

AMACURO

900,000 m

aR i

er

BOLIVAR
Santa Rosa La Florida

Reclamation Zone

Greater Anaco area


C

Greater Oficina area


Carisito

Casca

El Roble Maulpa San Joaqun Cantaura Mapiri Kaki Guere Boca Nipa Guara Chimire Budare Leona Naroo Oscurote Oritupano Onado Casma Acema Mata Acema - Casma Aguasay

aR
ver
i

San Roque Santa Ana El Toco

Elotes Trico

Oficina

Dacin

Lobo

Adas

Oveja

Melones

PETROLEUM GEOLOGY OF VENEZUELA

Figure 1.1
68 64 60 Guajira Aruba Peninsula Paraguan Bonaire Grenada Caribbean Sea Peninsula Gulf Coro of Venezuela La Tortuga Tobago Porlamar nge Paria Maracaibo uis Ra ange Araya La Costa Range Cuman C. de La Costa L R Trinidad a Caracas Cariaco Carpano Sanaragu Barcelona Valencia B Los Teques Interior Range Lake Barquisimeto Interior Range ipa Maturn Maracaibo es uan d Trujillo (Central Branch) (Eastern Branch) R. G igre T An Tucupita Rio Guanare n a el zu ne Mrida Barinas e Ciudad Bolvar V 72
Rio A

bia Pe rij Ra ng e

11

11

S. Cristbal
7

pure

San Rio O Fernando

rino

co

Rio Arauca

Reclamation Zone

Rio Meta

Mountain Belts

Puerto Ayacucho

a an ay if u s G as M

Sea Level 3

100- 250 m 0-100 m

Foothill Regions Plains and Coastal Plains

the chapter, and also a time chart with the main geological ages indicated and a geopolitical map with all Venezuelan cities and places cited in the text (Fig. 1.0). Also, we include a section called the History of Oil Exploration in Venezuela for those who may be interested in the history and growth of Venezuelas most important industry. At the end of the chapter, a list of references consulted for the compilation of figures and text is provided. We also include references to other papers and books that should be useful to those who wish to study the geology of Venezuelan petroleum basins in more detail. Physiographic provinces There are five main physiographic provinces in Venezuela (Fig. 1.1): 1. Mountain ranges a.Venezuelan Andes system b. Caribbean mountain system (Perij Range, San Luis and Baragua Ranges, La Costa Mountain Range) 2. Foothill regions 3. Coastal plains 4. Mainland plains 5. Guayana Province. Rocks of a wide age range (Precambrian through Neogene) are found in the mountain ranges of La Costa and the Andes. Their formation history is closely associated with the evolution of the northern margin of the South American plate from the Eocene to the present. The foothill regions (9430 km2) are covered by Neogene molassic sediments whose main physiographic features are terraces formed during glaciation/deglaciation processes.

Co

lom

ic nt n tla a A ce O

o Ri

o ric ua o G sa Ri e gu rtu Po

250 to > 5000 m

Colombia
0 50 100 200 km 150 72

Brazil Brazil
68 64 60

The Venezuelan physiographic provinces are: 1) The mountain belts: Venezuelan Andes and the Caribbean Mountain System (Perij, San Luis; Baragua and La Costa Range); 2) the foothills; 3) the coastal plains; 4) the plains between the Orinoco River and the mountain belts; 5) and the Guayana Province or Massif (after NB-18-ll map; MMH, 1976).

Introduction The purpose of this chapter on the Petroleum Geology and Basins of Venezuela is to give the reader a general overview of the geology of the country. Our knowledge has been greatly enhanced by the oil industry and mining activities that have been ongoing for almost a century. Without entering into a detailed analysis of the numerous and unsolved problems with the geology, we have integrated the information presented in many papers and books written on Venezuelan geology. We have tried to attribute the original contributions of all authors, and have also presented summations based upon our own experience. We have avoided specialized and detailed points of view concerning stratigraphy, sedimentology and geotectonic evolution, instead choosing to simplify the geology because of our diverse readership and limited writing space. For non-specialized readers, we include a Glossary at the end of

Guyana
3

GENERAL GEOLOGY

PRECAMBRIAN

Figure 1.2
78 62

Cenozoic Orogenic Belt


300 km

Caribbean Sea
Caribbean Frontal Thrust Caracas Valencia Mrida Lower Paleozoic Orogenic Belt

us Santa hm Marta Upper Ist a Paleozoic m a n Orogenic Pa Belt


8

Pacific Ocean

San Cristbal Apure Fault

o pin n Es rabe G Ciudad Bolvar


Imataca Province

Trinidad

Venezuela

Pastora Province
Roraima Province
Cuchivero Province

Weste rn Ran ge East ern R ange

Bogot

Paleozoic and Cenozoic Basins as a Precambrian Basement

Province

Guayana Shield

Colombia

Brazil
Imataca Province Pastora Province Cuchivero Province Roraima Province Boundaries of the Cordilleran Systems Overthrusting

Cenozoic Orogenic Belt Late Paleozoic Orogenic Belt Early Paleozoic Orogenic Belt Paleozoic and Cenozoic Basins of the Precambrian Basement Eastern Basin of the Precambrian Basement, Imataca Province Possible Extension

Northern South Americas distribution of allochthonous terranes in which Precambrian rocks are present. These terranes were sequentially sutured to the South American continent during the Ordovician-Silurian and later during Late Mesozoic through Recent.

The coastal plains (117,220 km2) are concentrated in four broad regions: 1) north of Falcn State (Fig.1.0), 2) Barcelona coastline (Anzotegui State), 3) Orinoco River delta (Delta Amacuro State), and 4) north of Sucre State. The mainland plains (260,000 km2), with an extensive drainage network, encompass the land between the northern mountain ranges and the Guayana Province; they are the result of the sedimentary filling of the Eastern and Barinas-Apure Basins. In the south is the Guayana Province (also called Guayana Massif, Guayana Shield, or Guayana Cratn in the geological literature) with 425,000 km2 of Precambrian-age terranes, with some Pleistocene plains built by the Orinoco River and some of its tributaries.

Reclamation Zone

ult Fa ira tam Al Cuchivero

Precambrian terranes The Venezuelan Precambrian terranes outcrop in the main mountain ranges of the country and in the Guayana Province. Because of the tectonic history of the northern South American plate, both allochthonous and autochthonous Precambrian rocks are found. Figure 1.2 shows the distribution of these terranes; those located north of the Orinoco River were overridden by Paleozoicage crustal fragments that were accreted, or added, to the South American plate. The autochthonous terranes are located in the Guayana Province, and also form part of the basement of the Paleozoic to Cenozoic sedimentary basins south of the Apure Fault. There are four provinces of Precambrian rocks in the Guayana Province: Imataca, Pastora, Cuchivero and Roraima (Fig. 1.2). It has not been possible to discriminate different provinces (with respect to age) in the basement of the oil basins to the north of Guayana Province; this is because there are few wells that have reached the basement in these basins and the available descriptive information is scarce. The accretion of allochthonous terranes on the South America plate began during the Early Paleozoic (Caledonian Orogeny: 570 to 385 Ma); part of these rocks outcrop near Mrida and San Cristbal in western Venezuela. Later, during the Hercinian Orogeny (385 to 245 Ma), occurred the suturation, or welding of the allochthonous blocks. These included Precambrian rocks, among which only the granitic rocks of the Sierra Nevada in the Santa Marta Massif (Colombia) have been dated (Fig. 1.2). The last collision began during the Cretaceous; this allochthon includes rocks of Precambrian age near the city of Caracas (Federal District) and south of Valencia (Carabobo State).

PETROLEUM GEOLOGY OF VENEZUELA

Figure 1.3

Distribution
62

78

100

200

300 km

Cenozoic Orogenic Belt


Santa Upper Marta

Caribbean Sea
Caribbean Frontal Thrust
Caracas

Panam Isthmus

Paleozoic Orogenic Belt


8

Pacific Ocean

El Bal Early Paleozoic Orogenic Belt Caparo ult re Fa Apu

no pi en lt Es rab Fau G a

Venezuela
Reclamation Zone

Al

ta

ir

rn R a

Bogot

Lower Paleozoic Basin

East e

Colombia

Guayana Shield
4 62

78

Brazil

Cenozoic Orogenic Belt Upper Paleozoic Orogenic Belt Lower Paleozoic Orogenic Belt

Lower Paleozoic Basin Guayana Shield Boundaries of the Cordilleran Systems Overthrusting

Northern South Americas distribution of allochthonous terranes in which Paleozoic rocks are present. These terranes were sequentially sutured during the Ordovician and Silurian, then during the Carboniferous and finally during Late Mesozoic through Recent.

Paleozoic terranes The rocks of Paleozoic age in Venezuela are found in several regions, geologically grouped as allochthonous or autochthonous terranes of South America. The autochthonous terranes are found in the subsurface of the Barinas-Apure and Eastern Basins (Fig. 1.21), south of the Apure Fault (Fig. 1.3). These rocks are typical red beds from Gondwana (South America and Africa before its rupture) and Laurentia (North America and Greenland before its rupture); they are preserved only in the deep structural depressions of these Venezuelan basins. The allochthonous terranes are distinguished by the age in which they were tectonically accreted to the north of the South American plate; there are those accreted during the Early Paleozoic, others during the Late Paleozoic and the latest during the Mesozoic.

Figure 1.3 shows the distribution of allochthonous terranes that were welded to the Lower Paleozoic autochthons during OrdovicianSilurian time. Those rocks accreted during the Lower Paleozoic are now considered part of the basement from the point of view of later Caribbean tectonic history. They include that part of the orogenic belt north of the Apure Fault, the actual Andes and Maracaibo Basin. In the Andes, rocks of the Lower Paleozoic allochthonous terranes include granitic and shelf/slope sedimentary rocks (OrdovicianSilurian). Ordovician metasedimentary rocks are found in the subsurface basement of the Maracaibo Basin and in the Andes. Devonian-age allochthonous terranes, welded to South America during the Late Paleozoic, outcrop in the Perij Mountains. Part of the accretionary history of the Upper Paleozoic onto the Lower Paleozoic includes granitic rocks, formed as a result of subduction below the northern border of South America. These include rocks of the El Bal region (Permian age) and those found in the subsurface of Eastern, Barinas-Apure and Maracaibo Basins (Carboniferous age). The accreted belt included sedimentary sequences of Carboniferous and Permian ages; these rocks now outcrop in the Perij and Andes Mountains. The last of these allochthonous terranes is the Caribbean Mountain System that extends from Guajira Peninsula (Western North Venezuela) to Paria Peninsula (Eastern North Venezuela), including the subsurface basement of the Gulf of Venezuela and the La Costa Mountain Range. In this terrane Paleozoic rocks of Devonian to Permian ages are found.

Weste rn Ra nge

nge

GENERAL GEOLOGY

PA L E O Z O I C A N D M E S O Z O I C

Figure 1.4

Age

Perij and Guajira


Seco Cojoro/COCINAS La Quinta Conglomerates

Andes

Gurico and Cojedes

La Costa Range

Jurassic

El Totumo Macoita

La Quinta

Ipire

La G Tinacoa Volcanics
?

Pueblo Nuevo Las Brisas (Zenda) Macuro


?

Guacamayas

Triassic

Correlation chart of the most important Triassic-Jurassic units in Venezuela.

Mesozoic terranes
Triassic-Jurassic

The Triassic is not present in Venezuela or, at least, no evidence of its presence has been found and documented. The oldest part of the Jurassic system (208 to 181 Ma) is represented by Volcnicas de la Ge (Perij) and Volcnicas de Guacamayas (El Bal), which predated the red bed sedimentation of the La Quinta Formation and the whole expansion process related to the Gulf of Mexico or Proto-Caribe opening. They are the lateral equivalents of the Volcnicas de El Totumo (Perij) (Fig. 1.4),

Figure 1.5
73 12

In Venezuela, the Pangean continent (the supercontinent comprising America, Europe and Africa) rifting produced several main structural features that later influenced the evolution of the Venezuelan sedimentary basins. Inside continental Venezuela, the Proto-Caribe opening induced the development of northeast-oriented extension valleys or grabens (Fig. 1.5). Among these valleys are the Apure-Mantecal, Espino, Andes-Perij and Maracaibo grabens. It has been postulated that the Jurassic rocks in the deepest parts of the Interior Mountain Range of Eastern Venezuela were involved in this deformation, as deduced by the trend of the main grabens, such as Apure-Mantecal and Espino. However, this theory has not yet been proven. All these grabens were filled during the Jurassic by red bed (continental) sediments, diverse volcanics, and occasional shallow-marine clastics and limestones. Their preserved sequences outcrop in many places: the Guajira and Paraguan Peninsulas (Cojoro and Cocinas Groups; Pueblo Nuevo Formation), and the widespread La Quinta Formation of Western Venezuela. They also occur in the subsurface of Eastern Venezuela Basin (Ipire Formation).

Guajira Paraguan Coro


3

63

Caribbean Sea
El Pilar Fault Ur Caracas ica 4 Fa ul Espino t Graben

12

Maracaibo
2

Trinidad

Pe

rij

Maturn

Andes
3
8 8

Santander Massif
73

Colombia

Apure-Mantecal Graben

100

200

300 km

63

Distribution of Jurassic rocks: 1) in Perij Range; 2) as part of the economic basement of Maracaibo Basin; 3) in the Andes; 4) in Barinas-Apure and Eastern Venezuela Basins (Apure-Mantecal and Espino Graben). It is believed that they are involved in deep thrusting within Eastern Venezuelas Interior Range (after Bartok, 1993; Passalacqua et. al., 1995; and Lugo and Mann, 1995).

PETROLEUM GEOLOGY OF VENEZUELA

Figure 1.6

Cretaceous
N
S Chimana U C El Cantil R E Barranqun Peas Altas Machiques
Through U Th riban rou te gh

(?)

COGOLLO

Aguardiente

TEMBLADOR
Canoa

Ro Negro

Guayana Shield
Shelf Environment Carbonates Hemipelagic/Pelagic Limestones and Shales Sediment Supply Direction

200 km

Exposed Igneous and Metamorphic Basement (Guayana Shield). Continental-Fluvial Environment Sandy Clastics Coastal and Transitional Environment Sandy-Shale Clastics

Distribution of dominant sedimentary facies during the Neocomian-Albian (Early Cretaceous) north of the Guayana Shield. Representative stratigraphical units of this facies association are indicated.

Early Cretaceous. The major sedimentary facies distribution and stratigraphy of Early Cretaceous rocks (146 to 95 Ma) are shown in Figs. 1.6 and 1.7. In Western Venezuela, the sedimentation was initially controlled by the Jurassic grabenfault systems. This is evidenced by the variable thicknesses of Rio Negro Formation clastics, which range from more than 2 km near the south of Machiques Trough, to only a few meters thick in some places of the North-Andean flank. Later the subsidence stabilised and there was an extensive transgression of an open sea over the Western Venezuelan shelf causing the carbonate sedimentation of the Cogollo Group. The lateral clastic equivalent of these carbonates in the Cratn or Guayana Province margins is the Aguardiente Formation. In Central Venezuela, there are some remains of an older

Figure 1.7

Age
Albian

Perij and Lake Maracaibo

Andes and Barinas-Apure


La Grita (Capacho)

Northern Gurico

Eastern Interior Range


Querecual(*)
(Cutacual, "Valle Grande")

Aptian

C Aguardiente O G Lisure O Guimaros Pich Apn L Tib Apn L Machiques O Ro Negro Tib
"Basal Clastics"

Maraca

Chimana

"Punceres" "Gucharo"

(Exotic Blocks)
?

El Cantil
"El Mapurite" Garca Taguarumo Picuda

Barremian

Barranqun

Ro Negro
? Macaira Limestone ? ?
Sand / Seal Pairs Seal

Morro Blanco Venados "Ro Solo" ?


Source Rock

Neocomian
Carbonate Reservoir

Sand / Sandstone Reservoir

(*)

The Querecual Formation extends to the Late Cretaceous

Correlation chart of the most important Early Cretaceous units of Venezuela. Informal units are within quotation marks. See Yoris, 1985, 1988, 1992, on Sucre Group.

GENERAL GEOLOGY

MESOZOIC

(also Early Cretaceous) carbonate shelf, which is discontinuous along the deformation (mountain) front to the north of Gurico State (Macaira Limestone).
Figure 1.8
N

The thickness of both El Cantil and Chimana Formations is several times the thickness of their lateral equivalent in Western Venezuela, the Cogollo Group. Late Cretaceous. The distribution of paleoenvironments and stratigraphic units during the Late Cretaceous is shown in Figs. 1.8 and 1.9. Figure 1.10 condenses the correlation chart for these units for all of Venezuela. A diachronic and extensive marine invasion began at the end of the Albian, moving from east to west and invading the south of Venezuela, which had been emerged and undergoing erosion since Late Jurassic and possibly Paleozoic times. This marine invasion coincides with the worldwide transgressive pulse of the Late Cretaceous, recorded in America and Europe through the sedimentation of organic-rich limestones, shales and cherts; these rocks are recognized in Venezuela as the QuerecualSan Antonio (Guayuta Group), Mucaria, Navay and La Luna Formations. The maximum transgression and lack of oxygen is believed to have occurred between the Turonian and the Campanian (72 to 91 Ma). The La Luna, Navay and Querecual Formations are the source rocks for the oil basins of Venezuela, and were deposited during the late Albian to the Turonian (95 to 88 Ma). The La Luna Formation ranges between 50 and 300 m thick in Western Venezuela, while the Navay Formation is close to 600 m thick in the South-Andean Flank and thickens to the northeast. In Western Venezuela, the lateral facies variations of these source rocks consist of pelagic and phosphatic limestones, dark shales and shelly limestones that grade to sandy clastics and glauconitic facies in the southeastern flank of the Andes in Tachira State. In North-Central Venezuela, these facies occur in the Mucaria Formation and Guayuta Group .

?
Caracas Mucaria Navay Capacho

Maracaibo Socuy La Luna

Infante

Barcelona Maturn GUAYUTA TEMBLADOR

Gu ay ac n

Escandalosa

Guayana Shield
0 200 km

Igneous-Metamorphic Basement (Guayana Craton) Continental-Fluvial Sandy Clastics Coastal and Transitional Sandy and Shaly Clastics

Shelf Carbonates Bathyal (Pelagic) and Shelf Shaly Limestone, Chert and Siliceous Mudstone Bathyal and Abyssal Hemipelagic/ Pelagic Shales and Limestones

Dominant sedimentary facies distribution during the Cenomanian-Campanian (Late Cretaceous) at the northern edge of the Guayana Shield North. Typical units of these sets of facies are indicated.

In Eastern Venezuela, the sedimentary history resembles that of a passive Atlantic type margin. These rocks belong to the Sucre Group, which at the base are sandy clastics and some shelf limestones of the Barranqun Formation (whose thickness is more uniform than its Western Venezuela equivalent). Later, extensive and well defined carbonate-clastic shelf sedimentation was developed (El Cantil and Chimana Formations). The main difference with the Early Cretaceous of Western Venezuela is that in the Interior Range of Eastern Venezuela, the lower contact with older sequences is unknown and the thicknesses of the Early Cretaceous units are greater. For example, the Barranqun Formation is more than 1 km thick everywhere, with massive, carbonate shelf sedimentation in its middle part (Morro Blanco Member of Barremian age114 to 118 Ma) in the northernmost outcrops.

PETROLEUM GEOLOGY OF VENEZUELA

Figure 1.9
on e ati c m van r d fo A ? De nt o Fr

Marine Sediments (Undifferentiated)


?

Mito Juan Coln


?

San Juan
?

Cujisal
? Positive areas that include Paleozoic and Mesozoic rocks

Ro de Oro
?

Burgita

Guayana Shield
Igneous-Metamorphic Basement
Sandy Clastics Positive Areas Clay-Silt Clasts Shallow Marine Carbonates Sedimentary Supply Direction Postulated Depocenter Axis Thrust Front

Sedimentary facies distribution during the Maastrichtian (Late Cretaceous) at the northern edge of the Guayana Shield. Typical units of these sets of facies are indicated. Notice that the axis of the Western Venezuela depocenter is subparallel to the deformation front, as a consequence of the plate collision between Nazca and South American plates.

The Guayuta Group is thickest in NorthEastern Venezuela, being more than 1 km thick in its type area (Anzotegui State). In the Eastern Basin, this unit changes laterally to the south, losing its source rock character by giving way to sedimentation from shallower environments, from shelf to coastline and even continental, which are defined in the subsurface as the Canoa and Tigre Formations (Temblador Group). The Late Cretaceous in Venezuela ends in the Maastrichtian, with units that are regressive relative to the deeper environments of the source rock. In Perij and the Maracaibo Basin, the La Luna Formation grades vertically to glauconitic limestones (Socuy Member), and dark shales with thin sandstones defined as the Colon and Mito Juan Formations. In the North-Andean Flank, the glauconiticphosphatic Tres Esquinas Member is present, which is the possible diachronic equivalent of the Socuy Member, underlying the dark shales of the Coln Formation. In the South-Andean Flank, the upper contact with the source rock is gradational to erosive with the basal sandstones of Burgita Formation.

Figure 1.10

Age
Maastrichtian

Perij and Lake Maracaibo


Mito Juan

North-Andean Flank Mito Juan

South-Andean Flank

North of Gurico Gurico

Southern Flank Eastern Basin


Infante

Eastern Interior Range


Vidoo San Juan

Coln
Campanian

Coln
Tres Esquinas

Burgita

Socuy

Navay

Quevedo

Santonian

La Luna La Luna

La Morita
Coniacian

G U A (Mucaria, San Antonio Y "Ro Chvez" , Querecual, "Querecual of the North " ) U T A
? "Exotic Blocks " ?

Tigre

G San Antonio U A

TEMBLADOR GROUP

Y U

Guayacn / Caliza "O" Turonian

Guayacn (Regional hiatus at the base?) ?

Canoa
?

Querecual

T A

Capacho
Seboruco

Escandalosa

Cenomanian

Reservoir (Carbonate) Reservoir (Sandy)

Sand / Seal Pairs Seal

Source Rock

Correlation chart of the most important Late Cretaceous units of Venezuela. Gurico and Vidoo Formations continue through the Paleocene; Canoa and Querecual Formations start by the end of Late Albian.

GENERAL GEOLOGY

CENOZOIC

Figure 1.11

Caribbean Plate
Early Paleocene *

Lesser Antilles Arc


La Victoria
Trujillo Middle Paleocene * Early Eocene* Morn Gurico
C b ar on

V
at es

Matatere
Barcelona

Maracaibo P Guasare/Marcelina ag e

M Cl arin Trujillo as e tic Pauj s

V
Central American Arc
Shallow Clastics

MaracaiboSta. Marta Block


-B SM

y
deep Fore Gobernador

Roblecito Humocaro
a Sh llo w a Cl

Peas Blancas

EL Ba l

V
Western Range of Colombia Collision

Misoa

s ic st

V
Faralln Plate

Andean Block

Orocu/Mirador
B
Shallow Clastics

South American Block

Guayana Shield (*) Deformation Front Position


0 50 km

Li ne am en t

Orocue/Mirador = Barco-Los Cuervos-Mirador-Carbonera Fms. Event (Paleocene-Eocene) Gurico = Garrapata-Gurico Fms. Event (Paleocene) Trujillo = Trujillo Fm. Event (Paleocene-Eocene) Misoa = Misoa-Cas-Pauj Fms. Event (Eocene) = Direction of sediment supply Gobernador = Gobernador-Masparrito Fms. Event (Eocene) Humocaro La Victoria = Humocaro-Quebrada Arriba Fms. Event (Eocene) = La Victoria-Santa Rita-Jarillal Fms. Event (Eocene) = Exposed areas = Thrust front

ESE migration of the Caribbean deformation front and associated episutural sedimentation during Paleocene-Eocene times. The Andean-South American boundary was located at the present position of the Santa Marta-Bucaramanga (SM-B) and Bocono (B) fault systems.

In North-Central Venezuela, the lateral equivalents of the Mucaria Formation grade vertically to the hemipelagic and turbidite sequences of the lower Guarico Formation. To the east, the bathyal sandstones of the San Juan Formation overlie the black cherts and sandstones of the San Antonio Formation. Then, in turn, the San Juan Formation grades vertically to the dark shales of the Vidoo Formation (late Maastrichtian60 to 65 Ma). Cenozoic terrains
Paleogene

Paleocene-Eocene of Western Venezuela. During late Cretaceous (Fig. 1.9) to early Paleocene, Western Venezuela was affected by the collision between the Nazca Plate (Pacific Ocean) and Western Colombia. There is evidence that the sedimentation of the Orocu Group (and probably Guasare and Marcelina Formations) was controlled by the deformation fronts of this collision (Fig. 1.11).

These fronts generated successively younger depocenters to the east of the actual Perij Mountain range. Figure 1.11 summarizes the sedimentation and gradual evolution of the deformation front as the Caribbean plate passed north of the South American plate during the Paleocene-Eocene. For simplicity, several formations are summarized by one name only (e.g., Misoa refers to the sedimentation of lateral equivalents and/or closely related units, such as the Misoa, Cas and Pauj Formations). Each event carries the most distinctive formation or group name. To the northeast of the South American plate, the oblique collision of the Lesser Antilles arc generated a series of sheets, or nappes, trending towards the south and southeast. These control the turbidite sedimentation of formations such as Trujillo and Morn.

1 10

PETROLEUM GEOLOGY OF VENEZUELA

Figure 1.12

Caribbean Plate

Volcanic Arc

Late Eocene

200 Km

Oca Fault System

Maximum Subsidence Area

Frontal Thrust

?
South American Plate
Advance of Allochthonous Terranes

?
Shallow Clastic Sediments Positive Areas Foredeep Sediments Pull-Apart Basin Thrust Front

Generation of pull-apart basins at the boundary between the Caribbean and South American plates; the maximum subsidence areas were located north of Falcn State at this time (Late Eocene) (after Macellari, 1995).

Figure 1.13

eV olc an ic c

Lesser Antilles

V Caribbean Plate Extinct Volcanic Arc X XPampatar-Punta Carnero


Ac tiv

Ar

Atlantic Ocean
Oceanic
Sedi me

ntat

io n

(U n

Caribbean Deformation Limit Peas Blancas


? Foredeep

d iff

50 Km

ere

Vid o

n ti

?
Tinajitas

o-

ate

Car

d)

Barcelona

ata

Sl op

Roblecito

Caratas

? ?
Clastic Shelf

Maturn

On the other hand, during the Paleocene, to the north and west of Maracaibo Basin, the Guasare Formation was deposited in shallower environments further away from the deformation fronts, and afterwards the Marcelina Formation in coastal-marsh environments. During the Eocene, a complex sedimentary setting existed in the Maracaibo Basin. Distinct deltaic/estuarine, coastal/fluvial and marine systems developed, depending on their geographic position with respect to the different deformation fronts, such as in Perij or later on in Lara to the east. Formations such as Barco-Los Cuervos and Mirador-Carbonera (deposited between the Paleocene and Middle Eocene65-40 Ma) represent two similar sedimentary pulses of fluvial-deltaic origin in the western part of Maracaibo Basin. In the central part of the basin, the Guasare, Trujillo, Misoa, Cas and Pauj Formations were more marine lateral equivalents of the Barco-Los Cuervos and Mirador-Carbonera, with a relative, gradual deepening of environments to the northeast. In the Barbacoas region, east of Trujillo State, the average depth of the Eocene sea was shallow enough to deposit the transitional and coastal-marine sediments of Gobernador-Masparrito and HumocaroQuebrada Arriba Formations. Meanwhile, in Falcn State just north of the south-verging deformation fronts, the La Victoria-Santa Rita and Jarillal Formations were deposited. This sedimentation was associated with extensional basin subsidence related to along-strike faulting (i.e., a pull- apart basin) (Fig. 1.12). Paleocene - Eocene of North - Central Venezuela. Part of the accretion due to the Lesser Antilles is probably represented by the sediments of the Gurico Formation, plus the limestone and other older units in the olistostromes. During the Paleogene and Neogene, this fold and thrust belt migrated to the south and east of the nothern margin of

Positive Area

? ?
Paleocene-Eocene

South American Plate


Shallow Sandy Clastics Turbidites Limestones

Lime-Clay Clastics Predominate over the Sandy Clastics (Slope Environment) Positive Areas Direction of Sediment Supply Thrust Front

Regional geologic framework for the sedimentation at the northern flank of the Eastern Basin during the Paleocene-Eocene.

1 11

GENERAL GEOLOGY

CENOZOIC

Figure 1.14

Age

Western Venezuela: Perij, Lake Maracaibo, North-Andean Flank


Carbonera Pauj Cas (Mirador/La Sierra) ? (Misoa/Mirador)

Western Venezuela: Trujillo, Lara and South-Andean Flank and Barinas-Apure


Pagey Masparrito (Misoa/Qda. Arriba/Gobernador) ?

Falcn
Cerro Misin ? La Victoria
Jarillal

North-Central Venezuela
Roblecito
Peas Blancas

Eastern Venezuela
La Pascua/ Los Jabillos ?

Carbonera Mene Grande Pauj

E o c e n e

Tinajitas
? Caratas

Santa Rita V a l l e H o n d o ? ?

Los Cuervos P a l e o c e n e Maastricht Marcelina O R O C U E Los Cuervos O R O C U E T r u j i l l o

Guasare Barco
?

Barco

H u m o c a r o

M o r a n

? Vidoo

Gurico

? (?) Garrapata San Juan

Coln/Mito Juan Colon/mito Juan

Coln

Reservoir (Carbonate) Reservoir (Sandy) Sand/Seal Pairs

Seal Eroded Interval Eroded/Unconformable

Correlation chart for the Paleocene-Eocene of Venezuela. The Coln Formation extends into the Campanian; the Carbonera, Pauj, La Pascua, Roblecito and Los Jabillos Formations extend into the Oligocene. The Gurico Formation may reach down to the top of the Maastrichtian wherever the Garrapata Formation is absent.

the South American plate. Those rocks originally sedimented in the trough just in front of the belt (the foredeep) were later uplifted, eroded and re-sedimented into the trough. While the Caribbean plate moved to the east between the South American and North American plates, the influence of the fold and thrust belts also moved, but to the south, producing the new foredeep of the Roblecito Formation, with a probable age between the Late Eocene and Oligocene (?) (39-23 Ma). South of the new foredeep, the lithosphere bent due to the new load, causing the influx of the clastics that produced the La Pascua Formation. Paleocene-Eocene of Eastern Venezuela. During the Paleocene and Early Eocene, the sedimentation was not influenced by the Caribbean deformation fronts. The Vidoo (hemipelagic marls, siltstones and clays) and Caratas (sandstones) Formations accumulated on a passive continental margin slope.

It is possible that the influence of the oblique collision of the Caribbean plate on Eastern Venezuela began in the Middle Eocenethe first evidence may be in the sandy-glauconitic and foraminiferal-rich carbonates deposited on the foredeep margins located north of Venezuela (Peas Blancas and Punta Carnero Formations and Tinajitas Member of Caratas Formation). On Margarita Island, the sandy and carbonaterich turbidites of the Pampatar (sandy rich) and Punta Carnero (carbonate rich) Formations represent a separate sedimentation from the Gurico and Roblecito, both in time and space, and are probably related to accretion near Barbados. Figure 1.13 summarizes conceptually the relationship between stratigraphic units and deformation fronts. Figure 1.14 summarizes the Paleocene-Eocene stratigraphic nomenclature, emphasizing the potential character of each unit as a seal or reservoir.

1 12

PETROLEUM GEOLOGY OF VENEZUELA

Figure 1.15

Positive Area ?

?
San Luis / Patiecitos

da a Sala a/Agu Pecay


Castillo El Paraso Churuguara

Guacharaca Casupal

Positive Area
ito Roblec

?
Carbonera

Positive Area

? ?
Guafita

El Bal Arc
?

La Pascua

Co
0

Len

lo m

Guayana

bi a

50 km

Shield rea eA v i t i s Igneous-Metamorphic Po


Basement Limestones Positive Areas Direction of Sediment Supply Thrust Front Depocenter Axis Extensional Basin

Shallow Sandy Clastics Sandy and Pelitic Clastics of Shallow and Deep Environmen(Turbidites) Pelitic Clastics of Shallow Marine Environment

Sedimentary regional framework in Western Venezuela (Maracaibo, Falcn, BarinasApure Basins and Gurico Sub-Basin) during the Oligocene. The main depocenters are located in Tchira (Len Formation), Falcn (Pecaya and Agua Salada Formations) and Gurico (Roblecito Formation).
Figure 1.16

Caribbean Plate
Main Depocenter Urumaco Trough Oca Fault System

Oligocene-Miocene
La Vela Cove

Oligocene of Western and North-Central Venezuela. Since the Oligocene, the sedimentary accumulation in Maracaibo Basin was preserved mainly on its flanks. To the west are the sandy clastics of the Carbonera and Ceibote Formations (El Fausto Group), to the south and east are the fine clastics of the Len Formation (Fig. 1.15), and to the center is the Icotea Formation (assigned by several authors to the Oligocene). The Icotea is only found in structurally controlled depressions, and its characteristic lithology consists of siltstones and claystones, with minor proportions of sandstones. The Falcn Basin reached its maximum development and deepening during the Oligocene. The sedimentation in the Falcn region resulted from a different tectonic setting than that of the Maracaibo Basin, Barinas-Apure and Eastern Basins. Figure 1.16 shows the extensional basins associated with major strike-slip faulting, especially in the north of Falcn State. These gradually evolved to the east, while the Caribbean plate moved in the same direction. In the north of central Venezuela, the trough containing the Roblecito Formation migrated to the east and southeast, favoring the advance of La Pascua sandstones to the south. These were followed and overlaid by clastics from the foredeep. Oligocene of Eastern Venezuela. During the latest Eocene and Oligocene, the sedimentation in the Interior Mountain Range is represented by the Los Jabillos (diverse sandy clastics), Areo (fine marine and glauconitic clastics) and part of the Naricual (shallow marine and coastal-fluvial pelitic and sandy clastics) Formations.

La Pascua-Roblecito (Central-North) Basin"Foreland" Incipient Capiricual-Carapita (Eastern)

Frontal Thrust Advance

South American Plate


Shallow Clastic Sediments Positive Areas Plate Movement Vectors

200 km

Extensional Trough Thrust Front

Maximum development of the Falcn State pull-apart and generation of extensive positive areas in Maracaibo Basin and northern Falcn. Toward the south and east, the foreland basin evolved, developing "troughs" like those of the La Pascua-Roblecito Formations (Late Eocene-Oligocene) and Carapita-Capiricual (Early-Middle Miocene) (after Macellari, 1995).

1 13

GENERAL GEOLOGY

CENOZOIC

Figure 1.17

v X
A

Extinct Island Arc

ve Isl an dA rc

Caribbean Plate
X X

N
Limit of the Caribbean Deformation

cti

? Naricual/Quebradn

Roblecito La Pascua

Areo(?)

Areo(?) Los Jabillos

?
Chaguaramas

Barcelona Clastic Shelf/Transitional Environment/Deltas ?

Merecure/"Naricual" ?

South American Plate


Shallow Sandy Clastics

Oligocene
Merecure
0

50 km

sediment source for the Naricual Formation and its equivalents (e.g., Quebradn Formation) is shownon the north side is a fold-and-thrust belt source, and on the south side is a Cratn Interior source. Something similar occurs with the La Pascua and Roblecito Formation equivalents, called the Merecure Formation in the subsurface of the southern flank of the Maturn Basin. Following the diachronism principle, it is assigned a younger age (Miocene), similar to the surface Merecure Group. Figure 1.18 summarizes the Oligocene stratigraphic nomenclature, characterizing the units as potential seals or reservoirs.
Neogene and Quaternary

Positive Areas Direction of Sediment Supply Thrust Front

Silt-clay Clastics Predominate over the Sand Fraction (Slope Environment)

Slope

Regional geologic framework for the sedimentation at the north flank of the Eastern Basin of Venezuela during the Oligocene. There is a strong difference between the Naricual in the subsurface and as defined in its type region: the "Merecure Formation" name has been used for subsurface equivalents of the Merecure Group formations (Los Jabillos, Areo and Naricual Formations) that crop out in the Interior Range.

Figure 1.17 summarizes conceptually the relationship between the stratigraphic units and deformation fronts. The double

In Venezuela, the Neogene is characterized by important mountainbuilding episodes, which are a direct consequence of the Caribbean and South American plate interactions. Figures 1.15 and 1.16 show in a general way the beginning of the Andean uplift, and the structures generated by the eastern movement of the Caribbean plate between the North American and South American plates during the Late Oligocene to Early Miocene.

Figure 1.18 Western Venezuela Perij Lake Maracaibo, North-Andean Flank


Palmar Ceibote

Age
O l i g o c e n e
Late Eoc.

Western Venezuela, Trujillo, Lara, South-Andean Flank and Barinas-Apure

Western Venezuela Falcn Basin

North-Central Eastern Venezuela Venezuela


Naricual Naricual ? Quebradn Areo M E R E C U R E

G u a f i
Guardulio

Palmar/Parngula PALMAR/PARANGULA ?

(Churuguara/Castillo/Pecaya/ San Luis/Agua Salada)

Len Icotea Carbonera ? Pauj/Mene Grande

Carbonera

El Paraso Roblecito ? Arauca Pagey(?) La Pascua ? Los Jabillos

t a
Sand/Seal Pairs Seal

Caratas/ Roblecito ?

Eroded/Unconformable Contact Sandy Reservoir

Eroded Interval

Correlation chart of the most important Late Eocene through Oligocene units of Venezuela. Pauj, Mene Grande and Pagey Formations extend into Middle Eocene; El Fausto Group and Churuguara, Castillo, Pecaya, San Luis, Agua Salada and Quebradn Formations extend into the Miocene.

1 14

PETROLEUM GEOLOGY OF VENEZUELA

During this time, extensional (Falcn Basin) and foreland basins were created. In Western Venezuela, the Barinas-Apure foreland basin was influenced by the formation of the Colombian and Venezuelan Andes. The Eastern Venezuela basins resulted from the oblique collision between the Caribbean plate and the northwestern margin of the South American plate. In the Pliocene (Figs. 1.19 and 1.20), the uplifting of Northern Venezuela produced the present-day distribution of petroleum basins (Fig. 1.21) and generated the La Costa and Venezuelan Andes mountain ranges (dividing the Maracaibo and Barinas-Apure
Figure 1.19

Basins). Figure 1.22 summarizes the Neogene and Pleistocene stratigraphic units, showing their potentiality as source rocks, seals or reservoirs. In Western Venezuela, the Andean uplift produced significant thicknesses of molasse sediments (Guayabo Group, and La Villa, La Puerta and El Milagro FormationsFig. 1.22). In places, both the North-Andean and SouthAndean flanks have molasse sediments that reach more than 5 km thick (15,000 ft). In the Perij Mountain range, the El Fausto Group is the molasse-equivalent unit, and is related to the mountains of the deformation front on the west side of Maracaibo Basin.

Ar c c
Carapita Carapita La La Pica Pica

N
Urumaco Urumaco Caujarao Caujarao Socorro Socorro

? ?

Caribbean Plate
Agua Salada
Coro

El Pilar Fault
Capadare
Quiriquire Quiriquire Las Piedras Las Piedras

Oca Fault
Ra ng e

Pe P er riijj

Lake Maracaibo
La Rosa Lagunillas La La Puerta Puerta Lagunillas

La Costa Range

GUAYABO

Mrida Mrida
a u a cc Y u oY o R

El Ba l

Quebradn Quiamare Quiamare

Capiricual Capiricual Quiamare Quiamare

Co

lo m

s s de n n A A

Ar c

Oficina-Freites Merecure Chaguaramas

Merecure

bi a

a-R la ul ug g r na P ar

Guayana Shield Guayana Shield


Igneous-Metamorphic Basement Basement

0 0 50 50

100

200 km 200 km 150 150

Continental Environment Conglomerates Continental Environment Conglomerates and Sandy Clastics and Sandy Clastics Deltaic-Fluvial Environment, Sand and Pelitic Clastics Pelitic Clastics Sediments Supply
Open-Marine and Foredeep Environment, Pelitic Clastics

Fluvial and Coastal Environment Sandy Clastics Fluvial and Coastal Environment Sandy Clastics Shallow Environment Carbonates
Shallow Environment Carbonates

Deltaic-Fluvial Environment, Sand and pelitic Clastics Open-Marine and Foredeep Environment,

Positive Zones
Positive Zones Thrust Front

Regional geologic framework for the sedimentation in all Venezuela (Maracaibo, Falcn, Barinas-Apure and Eastern basins) during the Miocene-Pliocene. The largest accumulations of continental sediments occur on the flanks of the Andes and La Costa Range. The most important reservoirs of Venezuela were deposited during this epoch: La Rosa, Lagunillas, Isnot (Guayabo Group), Carapita, Oficina, Chaguaramas and Merecure Formations.

1 15

Ba B ar rb Pr a d ism os
? ?

Isl an d

Co

lo

bi m a

GENERAL GEOLOGY

CENOZOIC

Figure 1.20

Pliocene/Recent
Caribbean Plate
North of Ven ezuela Deep

Curaza o
Oca Fault

Promin

ence

San Sebastin Maximum Fault Subsidence Areas

Maracaibo Basin

Falcn Basin

Bocon Fault

An

de

South-American Plate
200 km

Positive Areas Shallow Clastic Sediments Plate Movement Vectors

Thrust Front

Northern Venezuela regional filling of the foreland basins and uplifting due to the deformation of extensive areas associated with the Bocono, San Sebastin and Oca fault systems. Extensional basins persist north of Falcn State (after Macellari, 1995.)

The La Rosa and Lagunillas Formations predate the distal environments of the Perij and Andes molasses. The La Rosa Formation, with its basal sandstones (Santa Brbara Member), is of major petroleum importance. Its characteristic middle shale interval has lateral sandy variations that are important reservoirs in the eastern coast of Lake. Maracaibo. Its thickness varies from 70 to 1100 m (230 to 3600 ft) because the unit was deposited over an irregular erosional surface

Figure 1.21
72 68 64 60

Coro

Caribbean Sea
Caracas La Costa Range Gurico Sub-basin

Margarita Basin
Porlamar
11

and is fault-controlled. The La Rosa Formation is believed to be Early to Middle Miocene age (20 to 15 Ma). The Lagunillas Formation overlays the La Rosa and consists of transitional shallow, coastal, and continental sediments that reach more than 1000 m (3280 ft) thick in the center of Maracaibo Basin. It is a very important reservoir in the eastern coast fields, where it has been divided into five members, all of which have oil potential. It is equivalent in age (Middle to Late Miocene15 to 6 Ma) to the La Puerta Formation and part of Guayabo and El Fausto Groups. In the Barinas-Apure Basin, the Parangula and Ro Yuca Formations (continental sediments) are the distal equivalents of the Guayabo Group. In the Falcn region, open sea environments can be found, ranging from deep-marine turbidites (e.g., Pecaya Formation) to shallow clastics (e.g., Cerro Pelado Formation) and carbonates (e.g., San Luis Formation). The final filling of the Falcn Basin during the Pliocene was with the conglomeratic-marine clastics of La Vela Formation and the continental Coro Conglomerate (Pliocene-Pleistocene). In North-Central Venezuela, the main environments of deposition are fluvial and continental, resulting in the upper Quebradon and Quiamare Formations. They increase in thickness considerably to the east and south.

o jill e Tru ng Ra

Peri j R ang e

11

Falcn Maracaibo Basin

7
0 50

100 150

200 km

72

68

64

60

Venezuelan petroliferous basins on the basis of its Sedimentary Provinces (after Prez de Meja et. al., 1980). E. B. L. = El Bal Lineament, Eastern and BarinasApure basins limit.

Guyana

San Fernando

o noc Ori

er Riv

a an ay if Gu ass M

Reclamation Zone

Maracaibo Basin Trujillo s de An n ela Barinas zu ne Ve Barinas-Apure S. Cristbal Basin

Cuman La Costa Range Barcelona Maturn Eastern Maturn Basin Sub-basin

Trinidad

At O lan ce tic an

B E.

.L

o Belt Orinoc

Co m lo bi a

Ciudad Bolvar

1 16

PETROLEUM GEOLOGY OF VENEZUELA

Figure 1.22 Perij and Lake Maracaibo


El Milagro

Age
Pleistocene Pliocene

Andes
Terrazas

Barinas-Apure
Guanapa

Falcn
San Gregorio/Coro

Gurico Sub-Basin

(N) Sub-Basin (S) Mesa Las Piedras

Maturn

Interior Range
Las Piedras/ Quiriquire

LA PUERTA (*)

Ro Yuca

Late Miocene Middle Miocene Early Miocene

Betijoque La Villa, Los Ranchos, Lagunillas Isnot EL FAUSTO/ La Rosa

Palmar ?

AGUA SALADA Castillo/Agua Clara Pedregoso/San Luis Guacharaca

Carapita

G U A Y A B O

LA PUERTA/Codore/ La Vela/Urumaco/ Caujarao Parngula Socorro Cerro Pelado Chaguaramas

La Pica

Quiamare

Freites

Uchirito/ Capiricual

Oficina Carapita Merecure

Reservoir (Carbonate) Reservoir (Sandy)

Sand/Seal Pairs Seal


(*)

Source Rock Group

Correlation chart of the most important units in the Venezuelan Neogene. (N) and (S) indicate northern and southern flanks of the Maturn Sub-Basin. The El Fausto Group, and the Palmar, Guaharaca, Chaguaramas and Merecure Formations extend into Late Oligocene.

To the south of the Gurico Mountain front, in the Gurico and Maturn Sub-Basins (including the eastern Interior Mountain Range), transitional deltaic to shallowmarine environments are represented by the Merecure and Oficina Formations (Gurico and western Anzotegui States). They are both of great importance as petroleum reservoirs. These units change gradationally to the east to deeper-water environments represented by the Capiricual and Carapita Formations. The Carapita Formation is a distinctive turbidite unit and is also of great petroleum importance. To the south, in the Oficina fields and the Orinoco Belt, are found the diachronical younger equivalents of the Neogene cycle. The basal unit, usually discordant over the Temblador Group, is the sandy Merecure Formation, and overlying it is the deltaic Oficina Formation. The Miocene equivalents of these units in the Gurico SubBasinOrinoco Belt have been named the Chaguaramas Formation.

To the northeast, the Maturn Sub-Basin is filled with shallower facies, such as the Uchirito and Quiamare Formations in its northern flank. The Quiamare Formation represents a great variety of environments: lagoon, fluvial channels and alluvial fans, reaching several kilometers in thickness in Eastern Anzotegui. On the southern flank, the Freites Formation shales overlie the Oficina Formation. These shales are eventually overlain by the deltaic La Pica Formation and the molassic Morichito, Las Piedras and Quiriquire Formations (Pliocene age). The sedimentary cycle ends with the Mesa Formation of Pleistocene age.

1 17

THE HISTORY OF OIL EXPLORATION IN VENEZUELA

The beginning Before the 1800s, only brief references were made to Venezuelan hydrocarbons in the literature. The first mention of hydrocarbons was made by Fernandez de Oviedo in 1535, where he wrote of oil seepages off the western shore of Cubagua Island. In 1540, he referred to the presence of bitumen on the Gulf of Venezuela shores (Martnez, 1976). Nothing more is found in the literature until the early 1800s.

until 1883, when the first well which produced oil, Eureka-1, was completed. Eureka-1 had a production of 1.5 bbl (194 liters) per day (Mndez, 1978). Previously Salvador-1, the first well drilled in Venezuela, had been abandoned as dry by this company after reaching a final depth of 53 m. These wells were drilled with a percussion rig, the first oil drilling rig in the country. 1901 to 1920 Well locations were chosen by surface geology and direct hydrocarbon observation during the first decades of this century. Bababui-1, a 188-m (617-ft) deep well, discovered the Guanaco oil field in 1913. Mene Grande, near Lake Maracaibos eastern shoreline, was the first giant find in Venezuela (Fig. 1.25). The discovery well was Zumaque-1, a 135-m (443-ft) well, drilled after a recommendation by geologist Ralph Arnold. Arnold and a team of about 50 colleagues systematically explored more than 50 million hectares assigned to General Asphalt (later Caribbean Petroleum) all over Venezuela. Of these, 512,000 hectares were selected for exploitation. Totumo, discovered in 1913, was the first producer from the basement, and La Rosa Field, found by the well Santa Brbara-1 drilled in 1917, was the first of a giant later recognized as the Bolvar Coastal Field (BCF). BCF covers an extensive land and offshore region on the eastern coast of Lake Maracaibo. The maximum depth reached by an exploratory well by 1917 was 1,400 m (4,600 ft). 1921 to 1940 From 1920 onward, surface exploration activity increased (Fig. 1.23). Efforts were concentrated on Zulia and Falcn States in western Venezuela, and northern Anzotegui and Monagas States in Eastern Venezuela.

Figure 1.23

End of concessions

O.P.E.P. Foundation

Great Depression

600

500

Crew - month

400

World War II

World War I

Massive concessions

700

300

Surface geology Seismic (2-D + 3-D)

200

Gravimetry (+magnetometry from 1936)

100

0 1910

1920

1930

1940

1950

1960

1970

Nationalization 1980

1990

2000

Year

Exploratory activity in Venezuela. Surface methods. (Source: Martnez, 1976 and 1994; M.E.M., 1985 to 1995; J. Mndez Z., 1976 and R. Varela, 1987, in Mndez Z., 1989; M.M.H.,1962 to 1984).

1800 to 1900 In 1814, Alexander von Humboldt reported asphalt deposits along Venezuelas northern shoreline (Martnez, 1976). Geologist Herman Karsten (1851) published a description of oil seepage sites located between Betijoque and Escuque, towns in Trujillo State, southeast of Lake Maracaibo (Urbani, 1991). Oil seeps along La Alquitrana Creek in Tchira State lured local investors into applying for an exploitation concession under the name of Cien Minas de Asfalto. It was granted to them in 1878 (Martnez, 1976). Compaa Minera Petrolia del Tchira exploited this concession by open mining

1 18

PETROLEUM GEOLOGY OF VENEZUELA

Pioneering gravimetric surveys started in 1924 and contributed to the identification of regional highs, mainly of igneousmetamorphic basement close to the surface. As a result of the surface exploration effort and subsequent exploratory drilling during the 1920s, several important discoveries occurred: La Paz in 1923, and La Concepcin in 1925, in Zulia State; Quiriquire in 1928, in Monagas State (a giant oilfield in a Pliocene alluvial fan), and Pedernales (Delta Amacuro) in 1933, in an anticline produced by mud diapirism. Other relevant discoveries during this period were the Bachaquero area (now within BCF, Zulia) in 1930, and Cumarebo Field (Falcn State) in 1931.
Figure 1.24
300 Great Depression Massive concessions World War II End of concessions 7

Surface geology continued to render benefits in Monagas: Santa Ana, the first field of the Greater Anaco Area, was found in 1936; and El Roble and San Joaqun were found in 1939. Subsurface geology methods, using regional knowledge, data from core and ditch samples obtained during drilling, and electrical well logging as of 1929, gave very significant results. Some of the discoveries include Orocual Field (Monagas) in 1933, and the Eocene Misoa Formation oil sands of the LL-370 Area (Lagunillas, BCF, Lake Maracaibo) discovered in 1938. The maximum exploratory drilling depth reached by 1940 was 3,400 m (11,150 ft) (Fig. 1.24). 1941 to 1950 The exploratory activity during this decade was affected by World War II and the post-war world, with large oil needs prompting an increase in exploratory drilling (Fig. 1.24). Surface exploration, however, diminished, since most of the field personnel went to war. It was not until the end of WWII that surface activities showed a strong upward rebound, reaching levels never before seen in Venezuela (Fig. 1.23). With an increase in exploratory drilling after the war, reserves and production doubled during the decade (Fig. 1.26), and 63 fields were found. This compares to the 41 fields found from 1880 to 1940. The three most relevant discoveries were the Las Mercedes Field (Gurico State) in 1941, commercial oil in the Cretaceous of La Paz Field (Zulia State) in 1944, and the giant accumulation of extraheavy crude in Boscn (also in Zulia State), in 1946.

Number of exploratory wells per year

World War I

Maximum depths reached km

200

5 Nationalization Evaluation of the Orinoco Belt 4

3 100 2

0 1910

1920

1930

1940

1950

1960

1970

1980

1990

2000

Year

Exploration drilling in Venezuela. (Source: Martnez, 1976 and 1994; M.E.M., 1985 to 1995; Mndez Z., 1976 and Varela, 1987, Mndez Z., 1989; M.M.H.,1962 to 1984).

The year 1933 heralded the beginning of the use of seismic as a surface tool for exploration (Fig. 1.23), and results were quickly seen. Large discoveries occurred in Eastern Venezuela: in 1936, Temblador, the first field discovered in southern Monagas; in 1937, the first field of the Greater Oficina Area was discovered in Anzotegui State; and Jusepn Field was found in northern Monagas in 1938.

1 19

THE HISTORY OF OIL EXPLORATION IN VENEZUELA

Figure 1.25
300

1.500

200

1.000

100 .500 Note: From 1914 to 1954 a total of 3.0 billion cubic meters were incorporated into the reserves through revisions, new discoveries and extensions. 0 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 0 2000

Year

Reserves from exploratory drilling in Venezuela. (Increments and revisions not included). (Sources: Martnez, A.R., 1976, 1987 and 1994; M.E.M., 1985 to 1995; M.M.H., 1962 to 1984).

Exploratory drilling added more fields to the Greater Areas of Oficina, Anaco and Las Mercedes. The new Hydrocarbons Law of 1943 provided for the duration of all existing concessions to be extended 40 more years, a positive move for the oil industry, although the states share in exploitation benefits was increased by way of taxes. In addition, abundant new concessions were granted during 1944 and 1945, which also had a significant positive effect on exploration. From 1945 on, exploratory evaluation intensified and all technology on hand was applied. Gravimetry and seismic surveys were carried out in areas offshore of Lake Maracaibo, and aerial magnetics and other advanced techniques under development were tested in Venezuela. These technologies contributed to a significant increase in the regional knowledge of the Venezuelan sedimentary basins. Exploration drilling rigs reached depths of approximately 5,200 m (17,000 ft), as can be seen in Fig. 1.24.

1951 to 1960 The oil from the Middle East, less expensive and of good quality, affected the intensity of Venezuelan exploration, and surface activity was reduced by more than half (Fig. 1.23). However, drilling activity maintained a high level during the decade. New concessions granted in 1956 and 1957 kept the interest in Venezuelan oil high throughout the rest of this decade. Discoveries continued in the Greater Oficina Area and, to a lesser extent, in Gurico. During 1957 and 1958, the Lake Maracaibo region yielded large Tertiary finds in its central and central-eastern areas, including Ceuta, Centro, Lama, Lamar and Lago Fields. The first Venezuelan continental platform find was Posa-112A, an offshore field in the Gulf of Paria. The maximum exploratory drilling depth reached during this period was 5,348 m (17,541 ft). 1961 to 1976 The no more concessions policy adopted by the Venezuelan State greatly affected the operating strategies of the concession holders during this prenationalization period. A drastic reduction in surface exploration activities is shown in Fig. 1.23. By 1968, exploratory drilling reached the lowest level of activity since 1940. Exploratory wells were restricted to already identified areas, with their objectives being new reservoirs above, below or near known oil reservoirs. This type of exploration yielded discoveries such as the deep Cretaceous in Central Lake and Urdaneta Fields. Frontier drilling and surface exploration activities by the concessionaires ceased completely.

Millions of cubic meters per year

Mene Grande C.C. Bolvar Los Barrosos2 La Paz La Concepcin Quiriquire Bachaquero Pedernales La Canoa1 Oficina Jusepn Las Mercedes La Paz and Mara (K) Boscn La Paz and Mara (Basement) Urdaneta Lama, Centro Orocual, Lamar, JoboMorichal Onado Sur del Lago Cerro Negro Patao Ro Caribe Loran, cocuina Guafita Incorporation of El Furrial

Millions of barrels

1 20

PETROLEUM GEOLOGY OF VENEZUELA

The Corporacin Venezolana del Petrleo (CVP), the Venezuelan State oil company, was founded in 1960 and started operations the following year. This company became the leader in exploration on land and offshore Venezuela. It acquired 80,000 km of seismic and drilled nearly 200 exploratory wells during this period (Velarde, 1991). CVP started exploration of the La Vela area, offshore Falcn State, in 1972, and the evaluation of southern Lake Maracaibo in 1971 by means of service contracts. After a bidding process, service contracts were signed the same year.
Figure 1.26

CVP and the Ministerio de Minas e Hidrocarburos started evaluating the Orinoco Belt by seismic surveys and drilling. By then, about 60 wells had been drilled by the concessionaires in the so-called Tar Belt, and most of them had been abandoned without testing. The La Canoa 1, a 1,176-m (3857-ft) deep exploratory well, tested 6 m3 (40 bbl) per day of 7API gravity before being abandoned (Martnez, 1987). This well, located in southern Anzotegui, is considered to be the discovery well of the Faja del Orinoco. 1976 (nationalization) to the present By 1978, state-owned Petrleos de Venezuela, S.A., a holding in charge of the nationalized oil industry, assigned the Orinoco Belt to its existing operating affiliates: Corpoven, Lagoven, Maraven and Meneven. They each proceeded to evaluate their assigned portion. The campaign was finished five years later (Fig. 1.24) after 669 wells were drilled, and 15,000 km of Vibroseis seismic lines and 54,000 km2 of aerial magnetics were acquired (Martnez, 1987). Since the nationalization, surface exploration is based almost exclusively on geophysics, remote sensing and geochemistry. It steadily increased until the 1980s (Fig. 1.23), when it reached its maximum level for the last 15 years. This activity was directed toward frontier and traditional areas. 3-D seismic has been used since the 1980s as an additional tool for both exploration and reservoir description.

Cumulative production and reserves at year end (Bm3)

70 10 Massive concessions End of concessions O.P.E.P. Foundation 60 50 40 5 30 20 10 0

BSTB

Reserves 0 1910 Production 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990

2000

Year

Production and reserves in Venezuela. (Sources: Martnez, A.R., 1994; M.E.M., 1985 to 1995; M.M.H., 1962 to 1984).

A significant discovery during the period, besides findings in the abovementioned La Vela and southern Lake areas, was Onado Field (1971) in Monagas State. The exploratory drilling record was 5,813 m (19,067 ft) in 1976.

1 21

THE HISTORY OF OIL EXPLORATION IN VENEZUELA

Figure 1.27

0.50

0.48

0.46

0.44

0.42

0.40

0.38 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000

Year

Cumulative exploratory success since 1950, showing an almost 47% success rate with no downward trend (from M.E.M., 1985 to 1995; M.M.H., 1962 to 1984).

Exploratory objectives have become deeper and more remote, as the most significant recent finds show (Fig. 1.25). These include Patao and other giant gas fields offshore north of Paria Peninsula (1979 to 1982); Ro Caribe condensate accumulation also in the same region (1981); Morro heavy oil in the Gulf of Paria (1980), and Loran and Cocuina, gas accumulations east of Delta Amacuro (1983) (Fig. 1.0). Northern Monagas and Anzotegui, both in Eastern Venezuela, contain the largest discoveries since 1986 along the El Furrial Trend: Tertiary and Cretaceous reservoirs that are more than 4,000 m deep. Western Venezuelas Guafita and Victoria findings near the Colombian border are also quite significant. An exploratory drilling depth record of 6,640 m (21,780 ft) was set in 1993.

What now? The future points to more discoveries in the above frontier areas, as well as exploration and re-exploration in traditional areas near existing facilities. New, high-risk objectives will become the standard of dayto-day exploration activities; exploration for bypassed hydrocarbons already has high priority. Modern drilling technology will allow deeper and more precise subsurface evaluation. Improved knowledge of Venezuelan basins, supported by new geological and geochemical criteria, and new seismic acquisition and processing technologies, will open new frontiers and substantiate re-exploration. Modern petrophysical well logging technologies, some of which are described in other chapters of this book, already permit measuring and interpreting a large variety of rock and fluid properties. Their proper use will further enable us to accurately assess the subsurface. Venezuela still has a wealth of hydrocarbons to be discovered. Figure 1.27 displays graphically the exploratory success during the last 45 years, showing an almost 47% success rate with no downward trend, and Fig. 1.26 shows nearly 1 billion barrels of oil added during the period. This is the result of integrating all technologies, from exploration through enhanced oil recovery. Venezuelan oil provinces have not yet disclosed all their secrets; only by using modern exploration technologies will they be revealed.

Number of discoveries Total number of exploratory wells

1 22

PETROLEUM GEOLOGY OF VENEZUELA

Figures 1.28 and 1.29

Icotea

Coln/ LunaMito Juan

are as Gu

Maraca

Lake Maracaibo composite stratigraphic column (from Parnaud et al., 1995, Gonzlez de Juana et al., 1980, and Roger et al., 1989).

,   ,    ,    ,      ,  
Source Rock Formation Thickness (m) Graphic Lithology Reservoir Member Seal

Los Ranchos

Miocene

1300-1500

Age

Lithological Description

300-900

Oligocene-Miocene

Shales, claystone, weakly consolidated sandstones, and some interstratified lignites.

na gu La

Tertiary

Lo

er

La Rosa

Peroc

Upper

1100-1200

dle Mid Sta. Brbara

250

Marine shales with iron-rich concretions; variable amounts of interstratified sandstones.

50180

Siltstones, hard shales/mudstones and sandstones.

1000-1600

Intercalation of sandstones, siltstones and some limestone layers in the lower part.

120445 900

Socuy

100-300

Fossiliferous limestones and calcareous sandstones. Dark and massive microfossiliferous shales, with some thin sandstones and limestone layers. Fetid calcareous limestones and shales, elliptical concretions.

La Luna

Cretaceous

100 - 300

120

Crystalline limestones with Ostrea Sp., with shale and marl intercalations. Glauconitic sandstones and sandy limestones, with sandy laminated mud intercalations, and some shelly limestone layers.

Apn

500-600m

Fossiliferous massive limestones, nodular, marly and often calcareous shales.

Guim.

Ro Negro

<180

White coarse-grained sandstones.

1 23

            
Form. Thick. (ft)
y log ho Lit

Reser.

Source

Seal

Age

Lithological Description

Sandstones and gray shales with lesser amounts of siltstones and conglomerates.

Bachaquero

500-900

Lagunillas

Variegated claystones, red to purple, sandstones and lignites.

EL FAUSTO Macoa

Cuiba

150-200

Claystones with some siltstones and sandstones.

Claystones and variegated siltstones. Thin sandstones and lignites (scarce).

Early-Middle Eocene Eoc.

335520

"B Sand"

Mirador

Coarse-grained sandstone to conglomerate. Shaly intervals.

Misoa

Los Cuervos

Paleocene

"C Sand"

295-330

160-400

Carbonaceous sandstones, siltstones and shales.

Barco

150278

Productive interval. Porosity 7.120%. Average permeability 149 md. Carbonaceous shales and siltstones. Sandy shales; the sand and silt content increase to the top.

**

***

La

600 106-300

Lisure

Dense, laminated limestone, dark gray to black, carbonaceous to butiminous, calcareous shales. Thick beds of sandy limestone. Calcareous sandstones, glauconitic, sandy and coquinoid limestones with some shales.

55-180

Maraca

Cretaceous

Pich

Apn

COGOLLO Lisure

250-650

100-130

70-120

Hard bluish-gray limestone and few intervals of sandy and calcareous shales.

Tib

**** <100

*C b

** C t t

Sandstones and conglomerates. *** C l Mit J **** R N

Composite stratigraphic column of the Maracaibo Basin to North Andes flank (after Gonzlez de Juana et al., 1980).

PETROLEUM BASINS

MARACAIBO

Figure 1.30

W
Perij Range
0

E
Urdaeta Lama Icotea High Post-Miocene Miocene La Puerta Lagunillas La Rosa Eocene
il Truj lo

Lagunillas Bachaquero Fault Pauj "B" Misoa "C" Misoa

Trujillo Range

Two way time ( sec)

1 2

L Los a Vill Ran a cho s


El Fau sto

"B" "C"

3
1.8 Km

Paleocene

Cretaceous
Basement

4 5 6 Shaly (Seal)
10 km

Ju ra ss ic

Carbonate Source Rock

Sand/Seal Pairs

Sandy / Conglomeratic

East-West Maracaibo Basin section (after Parnaud et al., 1995).

Maracaibo Basin The Maracaibo Basin (Fig. 1.21) is the most important petroliferous basin of Venezuela. The main source rock is the La Luna Formation (Figs. 1.28 and 1.29) of Late Cretaceous age; its facies extend along all of Western Venezuela and Colombia. There are some other source rocks of secondary importance in the Cogollo (Machiques Member of the Apn Formation) and Orocu (Los Cuervos Formation) Groups. The oil was generated, migrated and accumulated in several phases, the Andean uplift being the most important one. These points will be elaborated later.

The main clastic reservoirs are the Ro Negro and Aguardiente Formations (Cretaceous), Orocu Group (Paleocene), MiradorMisoa (Eocene), Lagunillas and La Rosa Formations (Miocene) (see the stratigraphic columns in Figs. 1.28Perij/Lake Maracaibo and 1.29North-Andean Flank). The outstanding carbonate reservoirs belong to the Cogollo Group (Early Cretaceous). The most important regional seals are the Coln (Late Cretaceous) and Pauj (Eocene) Formations.
Note: The sequence of events in the petroleum events system is as follows: the sedimentary record is indicated in the row named "Formations;" in this case there is sediment preservation between the Early Cretaceous and the Late Paleocene, followed by a 5 to 6 Ma hiatus; then there are sediments preserved between the Early Eocene and the Eocene-Oligocene limit. The source rock is generated at the end of the Early and part of the Late Cretaceous. The seal is deposited at the end of the Late Cretaceous and Eocene times. Reservoir rocks are deposited during the Late Cretaceous and Eocene. The source rock in this system (La Luna Formation) is buried during Late Cretaceous, and partially unloaded between the Late Paleocene and Early Eocene; burial continues during the rest of the Eocene. Stratigraphic and structural traps are formed between the Late Cretaceous, Paleocene and Late Eocene. The generation, migration and accumulation from the source rock for this system takes place during Late Eocene, and the preservation of the traps takes place since the Oligocene. So the critical moment, or the time when there is the maximum probability for oil entrapment and preservation, is the EoceneOligocene limit.

Figure 1.31

200

150

100

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

(Ma)

Mesozoic Tr L J E M L K E L Paleo. Eocene

Cenozoic Tertiary Olig.

Geological time Q scale Petroleum system events Miocene PP Formations Source rock Seal Reservoir Burial Trap formation Generation,migration, accumulation Preservation Critical moment

"Phase 1" petroleum system, Maracaibo Basin (after Talukdar and Marcano, 1994).

1 24

PETROLEUM GEOLOGY OF VENEZUELA

Figure 1.32

Oca Fault

Gulf of Venezuela Falcn Basin

Oil Field, Eocene Reservoir La Luna Source Rock Matured or OverMatured during the Phase 1 (38 My) La Luna System Limit (Phase 1) Maracaibo Basin Limit

Lake Maracaibo
n Ve

e0

e zu

lan

An

de

km

50

Defined petroleum system in the Maracaibo Basin, La Luna Formation source rock, Phase 1 (38 Ma) (after Talukdar and Marcano, 1994).

Figure 1.33
200 150 60 30 20 10 (Ma)

100

70

50

40

Tr L

Mesozoic J E M L E

K L Paleo.

Cenozoic Tertiary Olig. Eocene

Miocene

Geologic time Q scale Petroleum system events PP Formations Source rock Seal Reservoir Burial Trap formation Generation,migration, accumulation Preservation Critical moment

Locally, the Machiques Member (Apn Formation) is a good seal, as well as the thick interstratified shale intervals of the reservoirs toward the center of Lake Maracaibo, such as Misoa, Lagunillas and La Rosa (Fig. 1.30Lake Maracaibo EW section). Other good seals include the shaly Len Formation and some thick intervals of the molasse (Guayabo and El Fausto Groups; Andes and Perij, respectively). The main oil fields are located on the Eastern Coast of Lake Maracaibo and the main production comes from Tertiary reservoirs; for example, Cabimas, Ta Juana, Lagunillas, Bachaquero, Mene Grande and Motatn. On the west coast there are fields with production from the Cretaceous and even Tertiary; for example, Urdaneta (Lake Maracaibo) and several fields of the Perij foothills, such as La Concepcin, Mara, La Paz, Boscn and Alturitas. In the central part of the lake, fields are located along the fault systems of Lama-Icotea (Fig. 1.30), including the Lago, Centro, Lama and Lamar Fields. The oil gravity is quite diverse. In general, the lighter types occur in the deep Cretaceous reservoirs, becoming heavier as depths get shallower. In the upper Tertiary reservoirs of the lakes Eastern Coast, some of the oils have gravities less than 13API.
Petroleum Systems

lo m bi a

Ra ng e

ji Tru

Co

Pe rij

"Phase 2" petroleum system; Maracaibo Basin (after Talukdar and Marcano, 1994).

llo ng Ra e

Figures 1.31 and 1.32 represent the northeast Lake Maracaibo petroleum system generated by the La Luna Formation source rocks. Oil generation occurs in the northeast part of the basin, with migration and accumulation in the southwest during the Late Eocene. The main traps occur along the Icotea high, containing Cretaceous and Eocene reservoirs. The highest probabilities of accumulation, or critical moment, is found close to the Oligocene-Eocene boundary (Fig. 1.31).

1 25

PETROLEUM BASINS

MARACAIBO

Figures 1.34 and 1.35

Gulf of Venezuela

Gulf of Venezuela

Col om bia

bia

ng e

Pe rij Ra ng

Falcn Basin
j Tru illo

Ra

Pe r

ij

Co

lom

Icote a Fa ult

R jillo Tru ang e

ng Ra e

a Fa

Oil window

ult

Ma
Or

rce

lin

aF

Icote

oc

orm

Lake Maracaibo

ati

Gr

Lake on Maracaibo
el zu e n Ve an

ou

Gas window
Sa
Oil Field Oil Field/ Condensate/Gas Petroleum System La Luna, Phase 2
0 km 50

pL im it

An

de

Condensate or Gas Producing Field Petroleum System Limit of the Orocu Group Matured or Over-Matured Orocu Group Limit at the Present Time
50

r de an nt ssif a M

Defined petroleum system in the Maracaibo Basin, La Luna Formation source rock, at the present time (after Talukdar and Marcano, 1994).

Sa r de an nt ssif a M

Fault Matured and Over-Matured Source Rock Area (Fm. La Luna) during Phase 2 (Present Time)

0 km

Oil Seeps of Continental or Mixed Origin Faults

Defined petroleum system at the Maracaibo Basin, Orocu Group source rock, at the present time (after Talukdar and Marcano, 1994).

Another system results from the Cretaceous source rock (mainly La Luna Formation), but in this case it is widespread across the hydrographic basin of Lake Maracaibo (Fig. 1.33), reaching over-maturity conditions in some areas. Generation, migration and accumulation occurred during the Andean uplift, filling reservoirs throughout almost the entire sedimentary column. The critical moment is considered to be the present. This system is the most important for the Tertiary hydrocarbon accumulation, especially in the structures of the following areas or fields: Western region and Eastern Coast of Maracaibo Lake, Urdaneta and Lama-Icotea (Fig. 1.34).

The third system is related to the Orocu Group, southwest Lake Maracaibo. This generation seems to be responsible for the oil fields to the northeast of Santander Massif, close to the Colombia-Venezuela border. Generation, migration and accumulation occurred at the climax of Andean uplifting (Pliocene), which produced the complete separation of Maracaibo and Barinas-Apure oil basins.

1 26

PETROLEUM GEOLOGY OF VENEZUELA

Figure 1.36

NW

Perij Range

Maracaibo Basin
Lama-Icotea Structure Urdaneta Fault Lama-Icotea System Fault

SE

Mrida Andes
North-Andean Flank Bocon Fault South-Andean Flank Barinas-Apure Basin

Perij Fault
Macoa Alturitas

4 km 20 km

Neogene Paleogene

Late Cretaceous Early Cretaceous

Jurassic Igneous-Metamorphic Basement

NW-SE structural cross section through the Maracaibo Basin, from the Mrida Andes to the Perij Range.

Figure 1.37

200

150

100

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

(Ma) Geological time scale

Mesozoic J Tr L E M L K E L Paleo.

Cenozoic Tertiary Eocene Olig.

Q Miocene PP

Petroleum system events

Formations Source rock Seal Reservoir Burial Trap formation Generation, migration, accumulation Preservation Critical moment

This large structural system reactivated old structures, and also involved the igneous-metamorphic basement (Fig. 1.36). The critical moment is at the present, and the main reservoir is the Paleogene clastic sequence (Fig. 1.37).

"Phase 3" petroleum system; Maracaibo Basin (after Talukdar and Marcano, 1994).

Mirador Mirador Formation Formation Los Los Cuervos Cuervos Formation Formation

Middle Eocene (Bartoniense) unconformity between the Mirador and Los Cuervos Formations (Rubio de San Antonio Road, Tchira State). Courtesy of Franklin Yoris.

1 27

PETROLEUM BASINS

BARINAS-APURE BASIN

Figures 1.38 and 1.39

Thickness (m)

Reservoir

Lithology

Seal

Age

Source

Graphic Lithology

Lithological Description

*Aguardiente Composite stratigraphic column of the South Andean flank, Barinas-Apure

Basin (after Gonzlez de Juana et al., 1980, and Kiser, 1989).

,   ,    ,    ,    ,
2000-3000 Len/Guafita/ Carbonera 335-520 Mirador 295330 160-400 OROCUE 150-278 Barco Burgita 350-420 180 - 210

Middle Eocene-Oligocene

Conglomerates, sandstones and claystones in diverse proportions. Generally, these molassic sediments are attributed principally to alluvial fan environments that flanked the Andean Range.

Tertiary

Eocene-Oligocene

Pelitic and minor sandy sequence. Dissappears toward the Barinas Basin due to erosion prior to the sedimentation of the Parngula Formation.

Sandstones with a slight shaly/silty interval near the top. Time equivalents in the Barinas Basin are: (sandy/calcareous) Gobernador, (shaly) Pagey and (sandy) El Cobre Formations. Carbonaceous siltstone and few sandstones. Sandy clastics.

Los Cuervos

Burgita

350-420

The Oroce Group includes Barco Formation (lower) and Los Cuervos Formation (upper), with regional thickness varying from 0 to 838 m in the South-Andean flank. Barco Formation is mainly sandstone while Los Cuervos Formation is finer grained and carbonaceous. Sandier sequence as compared with the underlying Navay Formation. Basal sandstones suggest erosive contact; variable proportions of shale, limestone and sandstone.

Coniacian-Santonian

Navay

Navay

Siliceous mudstones, quartzitic sandstones and cherty limestone. Abundant phosphatic beds with fish remains. They constitute the shallow shelf equivalents of the deeper and farther La Luna Formation environments.

150 - 180

La Morita

150-427

Dark shales and siltstones varying laterally to sandstones, siltstones and limestones. Its deepest facies is considered a good source rock.

Cenomanian-Turonian

"O" "P"

Productive interval

Bioclastic and sandy limestones, often glauconitic; calcareous glauconitic sandstones. Very permeable massive sandstones.

"R"

Often calcareous, massive sandstones, with some shale and siltstone intercalations. Dark gray shales. Sandstones calcareous.

"S"

,  ,  , ,  , ,   ,   ,    ,    ,  ,    ,  ,  
Form./Mbr. Age
MioPliocene

Form. Thick. (m)

Reserv.

Source

Series

Stage

Seal

Lithological Description

GUAYABO/Parngula/Ro Yuca

Pa

rn

gu

Pagey/Guafita/Len

Miocene-Pliocene

550 1400

la

Coarse-grained conglomerates, finegrained sandstones, siltstones and variegated claystones.

Ferriferous sandstones, carbonaceous, dark gray (often calcareous) fossiliferous siltstones and shales.

Guanarito

Early Eocene to Middle

Pagey

330-450

Sandstone proportion increases in the middle part of the formation; the unit is called "Guaranito Member".

Ferriferous sandstones, carbonaceous, dark gray (often calcareous) fossiliferous siltstones and shales.

50-300

Paleocene

Masparrito

Dark gray to bluish orbitoidal limestones. Fine to coarse-grained, pale gray to brown, sandstones sometimes calcareous. Shales and siltstones also included.

Gobernador

Campanian Maastricht.

Micaceous, sometimes glauconitic and calcareous sandstone. Lower middle is regionally shalier.

Cretaceous

Quevedo

180-210

Quevedo

Siliceous mudstone, quartzose sandstones and cherty limestone.

EscandalosaLa Morita

Cretaceous

150-180

Shales and dark limestones.

Late

Bioclastic and sandy limestones, permeable massive sandstones and black shales.

te rdien Agua

150-500

Calcareous sandstones and sandy limestones. White coarse-grained sandstones; conglomerates.

Escandalosa

Ro Negro <300

150 - 427

Composite stratigraphic column for the northern part of

Barinas-Apure Basin (after Parnaud et al., 1995).

300500

Alb.

1 28

PETROLEUM GEOLOGY OF VENEZUELA

Figure 1.40

NW
0

SE
RoYuca

Two way time (sec)

Gobernador

Pagey Parngula

Navay

Guardulio

Guafita

3.5 km 2

Aguardiente Escandalosa Paleozoic

0 10 km

Shale (Seal) Sandy / Conglomeratic Sand / Seal Pairs

Carbonate Source Rock

NW-SE cross section of the Barinas-Apure Basin (after Parnaud et al., 1995).

Barinas-Apure Basin The Barinas-Apure Basin (Fig. 1.21) is located to the SSE of the Andean Mountain Range. The main source rock is the Navay Formation (Figs. 1.38 and 1.39), of Late Cretaceous age and a lateral facies equivalent of La Luna Formation. Secondary source rocks have been found in the Orocu Group (Los Cuervos Formation), but only in the deepest depocenters, associated with the great molassic thicknesses caused by the Andean uplift.

The main clastic reservoirs are the following formations: Escandalosa and Burgita (Cretaceous), Orocu Group (Paleocene), Mirador-Guafita (Arauca Member) (Eocene-Oligocene) (Figs. 1.38 and 1.39). The most relevant carbonate reservoirs are the limestones with secondary porosity in the Guayacn Member (Limestone), Escandalosa Formation. Regional-scale seals are the shale intervals of Burgita (Late Cretaceous), Pagey (Eocene) and Guafita (Guardulio Member) Formations (Fig. 1.40).

Figure 1.41

Note: Compound names are given to the petroleum systems, referring to the source rock and the main
100 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 (Ma) Geological time

200

150

Mesozoic Tr L J E M L E K L Paleo.

Cenozoic Tertiary Eocene Olig. Miocene PP

reservoir names (for example: La Luna-Burgita). If the system is well known by the correlation between the hydrocarbon in the reservoir and the source rock, it is annotated with (!). If the system is hypothetical, with only geochemical evidence about the hydrocarbons origin, it is annotated with (.). Finally, if the petroleum system is totally speculative, with only geological or geophysical evidence, it is annotated with (?).

Q scale
Petroleum system events Formations Source rock

? ? ? ?

Seal Reservoir Burial Trap formation Generation, migration accumulation Preservation Critical moment

Events chart for the La Luna-Burgita (!) petroleum system of the Barinas-Apure Basin, during the Caribbean terranes emplacement over the Mrida High.

1 29

PETROLEUM BASINS

BARINAS-APURE BASIN

The main oil fields are to the south of Barinas city, the most important being the San Silvestre, Sinco, La Victoria and Guafita. La Victoria and Guafita are close to the Colombia-Venezuela border.
Figure 1.42
(Ma) Geological time scale Petroleum system events Formations Source rock Seal Reservoir Burial Trap formation
Generation, migration accumulation

Petroleum systems

200

150

100

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

Mesozoic Tr L
J

K E
S

Cenozoic Tertiary Paleo. Eocene Oligo. Miocene

Q PP

E M L

Preservation Critical moment

Events chart for the Navay-Gobernador (!) petroleum system, in the Barinas-Apure Basin north of the Mrida Arc, during the Andean uplift.

Oil gravities between 22 and 28API have been reported in Barinas oil fields. In Guafita and La Victoria oil fields (Apure), oil gravities between 30 and 36 API have been found.

Two events account for the generation, migration and accumulation of hydrocarbons (Figs. 1.41 and 1.42). The first event is related to the La Luna-Burgita system caused by petroleum generation in Maracaibo Basin and its migration to the SSE. In this case there are two seals, both of them of Cretaceous age. The upper seal is the basal shale of Burgita Formation, and the lower seal is the shale of La Morita Member (Navay Formation). The main reservoirs belong to Cretaceous formations such as Aguardiente, Escandalosa (Limestone or Guayacn Member) and Burgita (basal sandstones). The second event is related to the depocenter of the South-Andean flank, with a present-time critical moment. The source rock is still of Cretaceous age and the reservoir includes Eocene-age formations such as Gobernador and Pagey. The Guardulio Member (Guafita Formation) is the most important regional seal. In this second event, it is possible that remigration of the oil trapped during the Eocene pulse of La Luna-Burgita system occurred.

La Luna Formation. Picture of an outcrop in the Cuite River (Apure State). Courtesy of Franklin Yoris.

1 30

PETROLEUM GEOLOGY OF VENEZUELA

Figure 1.43

Dabajuro Platform

Urumaco Trough
Caujarao Socorro ENE Lines Displacement A' Coro o Codo Urumac Codore re C auja Socorro rao Cerro P Location elado Agua ? C Und ulf Coro Igneous-Metamorphic Map ? aG iffere lara zuel ntiat Basement A' ene ed B V Dabajuro 40 km asem ent A Venezuela

WSW A La Puerta
Eoce Creta Paleoce ne ne ceous La Quinta

Lines Displacement La Puerta ?

co Uruma o Socorr

Eocene
0

NE-SW geological/structural cross section through the Falcn Basin (after Macellari, 1995).

Falcn Basin The Falcn Basin (see Fig. 1.21) is located to the east of Maracaibo Basin, and is separated by the Trujillo Range. The source rock has been identified as the shales of the Agua Clara Formation (Fig. 1.43); however, shales of source rock potential have also been identified in the deltaicmarine sediments of Guacharaca and Agua Salada Formations. The main clastic reservoirs include the following formations: Agua Clara (La Vela Cove and Western Falcn), Socorro (Cumarebo Oil Field) and La Puerta Group (Western Falcn) (Fig. 1.43).

The oil fields of Falcn Basin are, from west to east: Mene Grande de Mauroa, Media, Hombre Pintado, Las Palmas, Tiguaje, Mamn, La Vela and Cumarebo.
Petroleum Systems

Figure 1.44
200 150 100 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 (Ma)

Mesozoic Tr J K E L E M L

Cenozoic Tertiary L Paleo. Eocene Olig.

Q scale Miocene PP

Geological time Petroleum system events Formations Source rock Seal Reservoir Burial Trap formation
Generation migration accumulation

Figure 1.44 shows the Falcn Basin petroleum system. Because of the regional geothermal gradient increase, the main source rock (Oligocene) generated hydrocarbons long before the structural configuration of the entrapment mechanism was established during the OligoceneMiocene transition. The reservoirs are concentrated in Oligo-Miocene stratigraphic units, with their structural configuration being formed between the Late Miocene and Pliocene. This time lag between the generation of hydrocarbons and trap formation led to the loss of large quantities of hydrocarbons.

Preservation Critical moment

Events chart for the Agua Clara petroleum system (!), in the Falcn Basin.

1 31

PETROLEUM BASINS

FALCON AND EASTERN BASINS

Figure 1.45

Caucagua-El Tinaco Belt

Caribbean Deformation Belt

Coastal Range Belt

Villa de Cura Belt Gurico Fault

Espino Graben Altamira Fault

San Sebastin Fault Los Roques Island Bonaire Basin

La Victoria Fault

Orinoco River

Thrusting Front

Tar Belt

20

40

km

Late-Recent Miocene Middle Paleocene-Miocene Cretaceous

Jurassic Early Paleozoic Ocean Crust

Precambrian, Paleozoic and Mesozoic Accretionary Crust Precambrian-Paleozoic Continental Crust

Events chart for the Agua Clara petroleum system (!) in the Falcn Basin (after Talukdar and Marcano, 1994).

Eastern Basin The Eastern Venezuelan Basin (Fig. 1.21) is the second in importance. It is limited by the La Costa Mountain Range to the north, by the Orinoco River to the south, by the Orinoco Delta platform to the east and by the El Bal Lineament to the west. It has been operationally subdivided in two sub-basins, the Gurico and Maturn.

Figure 1.46

NW
1100 0 1080 1060 1040 1020 1000 980 960 940

SE
920

Allochthonous
5000

Cretaceous-Eocene Oligocene-Basal Early Eocene- Middle

Gurico Sub-Basin This subdivision includes Gurico and part of the oil fields in northern Anzotegui state. The sub-basins northern flank is influenced by the deformation front in which the Gurico Fault system is located (Fig. 1.45). This deformation front overrides and overloads Cretaceous and Tertiary rocks, producing a complex tectonic setting (Fig. 1.46). To the south, the structure is less complicatedthere are structural (extensional) depressions that preserved Jurassic and Paleozoic rocks (Fig. 1.47) and regional pinching-out of the Cretaceous-Tertiary sequences to the south (Fig. 1.48). The main traps are combination structural-stratigraphic traps, especially in fields far from the deformation front.

10000

15000

2km

NW-SE cross section on the basis of seismic interpretation and with well control in the Guarumen mountain front (after Figueroa and Hernandez, 1990). CretaceousEocene-Oligocene rocks override the autochthonous basal (Early) Oligocene, indicating a Miocene-Pliocene age for the last deformation.

1 32

PETROLEUM GEOLOGY OF VENEZUELA

Figure 1.47

SW
DP = 170m
400 380 360 340 320 300 280 260 240

NE
NZZ-88X
220 (Proj. 2.8 Km to SE) 0.0

1.0

Cretaceous Base Jurassic Basalts

2.0

Early Cambrian
Valle La Pascua
G u r CORPOVEN ico
NZZ-88X P-C MARAVEN

P.F.: 14730'

3.0

Basement
0 1 2 km

50 Km

Seismic line in the NE-SW direction, through the Jurassic Graben to the south of the Gurico Sub-Basin (modified from Daal et al., 1989). This section shows how the Paleozoic sediments were preserved (Cambrian as well as Jurassic with basalt) in the deep parts of the Espinto Graben. The final well depth projected over the seismic line was 14,730 ft (4.490 m).
Figure 1.48
Las Mercedes Field Palacio Field Macapra River Chaguaramas Carrizal Temblador
0 50 km 100

The main source rock (Guayuta and Temblador Groups) is currently presumed to have been overridden by the Gurico North Deformation Front (Fig. 1.48). Hydrocarbon generation is related to advance of the nappe, rapidly bringing the source rock to the gas window due to tectonic overloading since at least the Late Eocene.

This may be why the main hydrocarbon in the fields near the Mountain Front is gas rather than oil. Nevertheless, generation of hydrocarbons has been postulated close to the Late Miocene faults in the Central Gurico region. The rocks contain marine organic matter and appear to have migrated only a short distance. This suggests that the Temblador Group (Fig. 1.49) is an important source rock for the oil in the Gurico State fields. Paraffinic hydrocarbons may have been generated from source rocks in reservoir formations such as the Roblecito and Oficina. The main oil fields are, from west to east: Palacio, La Mercedes, Yucal-El Placer, Tucupido, El Jobal, Socorro and Macoya; Yucal-El Placer is a gas field. To the south of Gurico State, the Cretaceous and Tertiary units gradually pinch-out (Fig. 1.48), creating stratigraphic traps and asphalt seals in what has been named the Orinoco Belt (Fig. 1.50).

ui eg t zo An

6 P-

S Orinoco River Recent 1000

Mucaria,Garrapata, VILLA DE CURA Gurico and others N

Structural cross sections from a point near the southern limit of the Guatopo National Park (Altagracia de Orituco, Gurico State) to the

0 m

Orinoco River, approximately 160 km south of the intersection of the cross section with the Macapra River, and along the section from wells

Roblecito La P ascu a
Infante

1000

2000

G-D-6 to CAMAZ-1, south of Camatagua.


Ba se me nt
Quartzose sandstone 3000 B CAMAZ-1 Chaguaramas N.M

These cross sections show the depth to the (autochthon) Cretaceous top, below the thrusting

A G-D-6

GRICO-6

GXB-1

front that includes igneous-metamorphic rocks (Villa de Cura Group) and Cretaceous-Tertiary sedimentary rocks such as Mucaria, Garrapata,
500 1000 m

.... ....

La P

ascu a
.... ...

Roblecito

Gurico, Roblecito, Peas Blancas, Naricual, Quebradn, Quiamare and Chaguaramas Formations (the last six concentrated in the thrusting front, in the so-called "Chacual Complex" (after

- --..
. ..
0 10 20 30 km 40 50

2000
Cr eta ce ou

Gonzlez de Juana et al., 1980).

1 33

PETROLEUM BASINS

GUARICO SUB-BASIN

Figure 1.49

Oficina

Seal

Group

  ,  ,   , , ,  ,   ,   , , , 
Formation Graphic Lithology Reservoir Source Rock 5800' 5836'

Lithological Description

Coarse-grained sandstone. Granular conglomerate. Lignite, leaves. Occasional shales. Dolomitic limestones.

5900' 5925'

6000'

Shales with Lingula.

TEMBLADOR

6100'

Ferrolithic levels. Dolomitic limestones. Exogyra.

The reservoirs are Neogene, and migration probably occurred not only from north to south, but from northeast to southeast. The origin for the naphthenic-paraffinic oil types is considered to be a Cretaceous source rock, with tens of kilometers migration, traveling along the Tertiary basal discordance (Neogene-Cretaceous and Neogene-Basement). The Orinoco Belt extends to the east, delimiting the south border for the whole Eastern Basin. Its stratigraphy is shown in the geologic section of Fig. 1.50. The most important shale seals are found in the same units as the reservoirs, e.g. Roblecito, Chaguaramas and Oficina Formations. The traps are combinations of structural (extensional faults) and stratigraphic (channels) traps.
Petroleum Systems

Tigre

6117'

Whitish and speckled mudstones interval.

6200'

Speckled siltstones. Pebble conglomerates. Whitish siltstones. Speckled mudstones and sandstones interval.

6300'

Pebble conglomerates.

6400'

Whitish weathered residual rock. Granite.

6421'

Basement

Lithological profile of the Tigre No. 1 well, Gurico State (after Gonzlez de Juana et al., 1980).

The Gurico Sub-Basin is complex in its petroleum system. Four such systems are recognized: 1) Querecual-Oficina (!) (Fig. 1.51), 2) Temblador-La Pascua (!) (Fig. 1.52), 3) Querecual-Chaguaramas (!) (Fig. 1.53), and 4) Oficina (!) (Fig. 1.54). The source rock of the Querecual-Oficina system is the Querecual Formation, which occurs as blocks and extremely faulted outcrops along the whole Gurico Mountain Front. After deposition (Late Cretaceous), it was first overburdened and then involved in the Caribbean tectonics during the Eocene and Oligocene. Reservoir sedimentation (Oficina and Merecure Formations) occurs during the Late Oligocene and Miocene, and trap formation occurs during the structural formation of the Eastern Basin during the Eocene. The generation, migration and accumulation of hydrocarbons have occurred continuously since the beginning of the Oligocene, from the deepest part of the thrusting front, to the southern distal pinch-out of the Eastern Basin.

Canoa

1 34

PETROLEUM GEOLOGY OF VENEZUELA

Figure 1.50

Aproximately 570 km West Machete-Zuata


Western Province Chaguaramas

East

Hamaca-Cerro Negro
Eastern Province Las Piedras Freites Oficina Oficina

Aprox. 6000'

Roblecito

?
La Pascua K PK K PK

PK

PK

+ + +

+ + +

+ +

+ +

Metamorphic Basement (Precambrian (?) )

Altamira

Carrizal

Hato Viejo

Sandy Reservoir Sand-Seal Pairs

Shaly Seals Carbonate Reservoir

Paleozoic Basement (Sedimentary) Precambrian Basement (Igneous-Metamorphic)

Schematic structural configuration of the Orinoco Belt (after Audemard et al., 1985).

Figure 1.51

200

150

100

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0 (Ma) Geological time

Tr L

Mesozoic K J E M L E L Paleo.

Cenozoic Tertiary Eocene Olig.

Q scale Miocene PP

Petroleum system events


Formations Source rock Seal Reservoir Burial Trap formation

Generation, migration accumulation

Preservation Critical moment

Events chart for the Querecual-Oficina oil system (!), in the Oficina area, Gurico Sub-Basin (after Talukdar and Marcano, 1994).

In the Oficina Formation, the Miocene extensional fault systems are the main trapping mechanisms for the Gurico and Maturn (southern flank) Sub-Basins. Specifically the Querecual-Oficina System refers only to the area of the Oficina (near the Gurico-Anzotegui southern border) in the Gurico Sub-Basin, located to the south of Gurico and Anzotegui states. Its critical moment is present-time.
1 35

El Cantil Formation (Gucharo Member). Areal view of the Las Puertas del Guarapiche, Monagas State. Courtesy of Franklin Yoris.

PETROLEUM BASINS

GUARICO SUB-BASIN

Figure 1.52

200

150

100

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0 (Ma) Geological time

Tr L

Mesozoic K J E M L E L Paleo.

Cenozoic Tertiary Eocene Olig.

Q scale Miocene PP

Petroleum system events


Formations Source rock Seal Reservoir Burial Trap formation

Generation, migration accumulation

Preservation Critical moment

Events chart for the Temblador Group-La Pascua (!) petroleum system in central Gurico (after Talukdar and Marcano, 1994).

Figure 1.53

200

150

100

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0 (Ma) Geological time

Mesozoic Tr L J E M L E K L Paleo.

Cenozoic Tertiary Eocene Olig. Miocene PP

Q scale

Petroleum system events Formations Source rock Seal Reservoir Burial

Trap formation Generation, migration accumulation Preservation Critical moment

Events chart for the Querecual-Chaguaramas (!) petroleum system, Orinoco River Belt (after Talukdar and Marcano, 1994).

Figure 1.54

200

150

100

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0 (Ma)

Tr L

Mesozoic J K E M L E L Paleo.

Cenozoic Tertiary Eocene Olig.

Geological time scale Petroleum Miocene PP system events

Formations Source rock Seal Reservoir Burial

The Temblador-La Pascua System covers the central area of Gurico State. The main reservoirs are the Temblador Group proper and the Roblecito and La Pascua Formations. The burial of the source rock occurred from the Eocene, with hydrocarbon generation since the Oligocene. This produced a big loss of hydrocarbons, because the structural traps did not form until the end of Miocene. The probable critical moment is around the Miocene-Pliocene limit. The Querecual-Chaguaramas System is a consequence of the previously discussed system. The traps, which are essentially stratigraphic and asphaltic seals, occur along the southern border of the Eastern Basin, creating the Orinoco Belt. The QuerecualChaguaramas System is applicable to the whole of the Orinoco Belt, including the southern border of the Maturn Sub-Basin, where the reservoir rocks are the lateral equivalents of the Chaguaramas Formation in Gurico Sub-Basin. The critical moment is believed to be present-time. In the Oficina System, hydrocarbons are believed to have been generated from Miocene source rocks (coals, carbonaceous siltstones) in the Oficina Formation proper. The sandstones of the same formation are the reservoirs, but some of the oil may have escaped to the underlying Merecure Formation, with extensional-faulting traps formed during Late Miocene. The source rock overburden can be related to the thick Pliocene (molasse) sequences, associated with the uplifting of the Interior Mountain Range and the resulting lithospheric flexure that generates extensional faulting. The critical moment is present-time.

Trap formation Generation, migration accumulation Preservation Critical moment

Events chart for the Oficina (!) petroleum system, Oficina area, Gurico Sub-Basin (after Talukdar and Marcano, 1994).

1 36

PETROLEUM GEOLOGY OF VENEZUELA

Figure 1.55

NW
Araya Sub-Basin Margarita - Los Testigos Platform Margarita Island El Pilar Fault Interior Range Turimiquire Morichito Basin Pirital Block Maturn Maturn Sub-Basin

SE
Orinoco River

Caribbean Plate

South American Plate

Vertical and horizontal scale 10 km 0 km 20

Pleistocene Late Oligocene - Pliocene Paleocene - Early Oligocene

Cretaceous Jurassic Early Paleozoic

Oceanic Crust Accretionary Crust Continental Crust

Dextral Transcurrent Component

Conceptual NW-SE geological cross section from Margarita-Los Testigos shelf to the Orinoco River. The north flank of the Maturn SubBasin is associated with the thrusting fronts of large cortical blocks, emplaced to the south due to the collision between the Caribbean and South American plates.

Figure 1.56

S
Pleistocene Pliocene Late Miocene Middle Miocene Paleogene to Late Cretaceous Late Jurassic Paleozoic

Foredeep Basin
Mesa (Continental)
ta l

Pirital High
Lit o

Basin (Piggy-Back)
Quiriquire (Continental) l Continenta Mo nti rich ne ito nta l

o pap Cha oral) La Pica (Marine) it L ( a" apit Car per Deep water "Up shales and turbidites

Las Piedras (Litoral)

p ra er l
U p

ap it a

Co

Undifferentiated Cretaceous Allochthon


Pir
2 km

"Middle Carapita "


SANTA ANITA and
M ERE

ital

CUR

Fau

lt

TEMBLADOR

EG

rou

ps

"Lower Ca

rapita "

?
Crystalline Basement

Deep water shales and turbidites

Shallow Water Sandstones and Limestones

La Quinta Formation

Structural cross section showing the tectono-stratigraphic units in the Maturn SubBasins northern flank. The figure also illustrates the complex tectonic and sedimentary units that constitute the vertical and lateral equivalents of the Carapita Formation in the subsurface; coeval foredeep environment sediments were deposited in the south, while north of the Pirital High, a piggy-back basin was developed, with shallow and continental environments (after Roure et al., 1994). The Santa Anita Group includes the formations San Juan, Vidoo and Caratas.

Maturn Sub-Basin The Maturn Sub-Basin (Fig. 1.55) is the main Eastern Basin petroliferous unit. The structural deformation and pinch-out of stratigraphic units to the south define two operational domains: north and south of the Pirital Thrust (Figs. 1.55 and 1.56). The stratigraphy of the eastern Interior Range is representative of sedimentation on the northern flank of the main Maturn SubBasin (Fig. 1.57). A thick and complex sedimentary sequence ranges from the Lower Cretaceous to Pleistocene. On the southern flank, a simpler stratigraphy occurs, similar to that of the Gurico Sub-Basin in the subsurface. The Temblador Group (Fig. 1.49) represents the Cretaceous, and the overlying Tertiary is mainly OligocenePleistocene, with alternating fluvial-deltaic and shallow marine environments eventually overlain by continental sediments (Fig. 1.50).

r Ca

1 37

PETROLEUM BASINS

Figures 1.57 and 1.58

Member

Series
Pleistocene Plio- Late cene Early Midd. Late

Ma

Lithological Description

Formation

Lithostratigraphic gy lo Units ho S Lit N


Mesa ? Las Piedras, Quiriquire,etc. ? Quiamare

Neogene Miocene

10

Uchirito

Carapita 20 ? 30 Areo
? Los Jabillos ? 40

Naricual

Paleogene Eocene

Caratas

Early

50

60 Early

70

San Juan ?

Late

80

Siliceous limestones, sandstones and black cherts. T = 250-500 m.

San Antonio

90

100 El Cantil

. . ana . . Chim 8 ? . . . . Gucharo . . (Upper.)

Querecual M

110

Gucharo(Low.) ? 7 Garca

6 Barranqun 53 4 . 2 . ? 1 = Mbr. Tinajitas 2 = Capas Ro Solo 3 = Venados 4 = Morro Blanco 5 = Picuda 6 = Taguarumo 130 7= Mapurite 8 = Punceres 120 Transgressive advance

Regressive progradation

, ,  , , 
Reserv. Source Seal
?

M AT U R I N S U B - B A S I N

Sandstones and claystones. T = 275 m. Conglomerates, sandstones and often calcareous shale/ claystones. T = 3000-4600 m. Calcareous conglomerates. Black calcareous shales, interbedded turbiditic sandstones; conglomerates at the top. T = 1000-2000 m. Sandstones interbedded with calcareous siltstones and coals. T = 2000 m. Shales, siltstones, and glauconitic sandstones. T = 300m

Electric Log

Lithological Description
Las Piedras La Pica 5458' 5500' 5800'

5635'

Thick sandstones interbedded with dark shales; the Tinajitas Member is calcareous and glauconitic. T = 700-200 m. Dark shales increasing its sandy contents to the south. T = 700-200 m.

V i d o o

Paleocene

Late

6000' Sandstones with regular shale interbedding (sandy turbiditic facies). 6500' 6595'

Chapapotal

Sandstones and shales. T = 0-650 m.

Shales with thin sandy beds, probably turbiditic. 7000' 7190'

Early

. .

Pelagic black limestones. T= 650-750 m. Limestones, sandstones and shales, the glauconitic content is high in some places. T= 270-535 m. Bioclastic limestones and argillaceous limestones; the sandy contents increase to the top. T = 700-1000 m. Sandstones. T = 157 m. Shales and limestones. T = 186 m. Sandstones, limestones and carbonaceous siltstones. T = 1400-2400 m. Carbonate reservoir

7500' Sandstones with many shale interbeddings (sandy turbiditic facies). 8000' 8075' Mainly shales with some thin sandy beds (probably turbiditic). 8500'

Seal rock

Sandy reservoir Sand/seal pairs General source rock

T = Thickness

Integrated stratigraphic column (time scale) for the Interior Range (Maturn Sub-Basin northern flank) (after Yoris, 1992).

Electrical log from Well Q-297, in Cahipo block of the Quiriquire Field, State of Monagas. This is typical Member of of the the Chapapotal Carapita

Formation (after Gonzlez de Juana et al., 1980). The turbidite regime of the sand-seal pairs of the Carapita Formation is the same throughout all the region (approximately 80 km to the west of the Quiriquire oil field), and in the El Furrial Field, 40 km to the southeast (after Yoris, 1989, 1982).

The main source rock in the Interior Range is the Guayuta Group, especially the Querecual Formation. Its thickness is double that of its Western Venezuela lateral equivalent (La Luna Formation) and it has similar characteristics as source rock. The lateral transition of the Cretaceous from the northern flank of the sub-basin to the southern Temblador Group is not known in the subsurface because of the considerable thickness of the Neogene sequence. Nevertheless, it is believed that the Cretaceous source rock is still of good quality in the Greater Oficina Area, which generated part of the oil present in these fields. The main source rock for the North Monagas region was probably Cretaceous (Guayuta Group), although the possibility of younger source rocks is not discarded. Younger source rocks would need organic matter of continental affinity (e.g., the Naricual Formation is coaly/carbonaceous). The most important reservoirs are of Tertiary age; in North Monagas fields they consist of Carapita, Naricual, Los Jabillos and Caratas Formations (Fig. 1.57). Late Cretaceous sandstones (San Juan Formation) are also good reservoirs, and the youngest MioPliocene reservoirs belong to La Pica and the molassic Las Piedras-Quiriquire Formations (Fig. 1.56). Structural traps, such as those in El Furrial Field (Fig. 1.58) are of prime importance for hydrocarbon accumulations. Major regional seals for the CretaceousTertiary sequence in the northern flank of the sub-basin are the Vidoo, Areo and Carapita Formations (Fig. 1.57). The Areo and Carapita also have lenticular reservoirs, such as the turbiditic lobes of the Carapita Formation (Chapapotal Member; see Fig. 1.59). To the south of the sub-basin, in the Oficina fields of Anzotegui and Monagas states, the main reservoirs are Merecure and Oficina Formations. Regional shale seals belong to the same units, and the overlying Freites Formation is also an important regional seal.
1 38

Middle

Late Early Late

Oligocene

Early

Cretaceous

PETROLEUM GEOLOGY OF VENEZUELA

Figure 1.59 El Furrial


1400 1500

3 Seconds Carapita

Mere cure Creta ceous

1 km

Structural interpretation from El Furrial Field (after Pernaud et al., 1995). In this section, the trap is made of a structural high associated with the development of a thrust with vergence to the south.
Figure 1.60
200 150 100 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 (Ma)

Mesozoic TR J L E M L K E L Paleo.

Cenozoic Tertiary Eocene Olig.

Q Miocene PP

Geological time scale Petroleum system events Formations Source rock Seal Reservoir Burial Trap formation
Generation, migration accumulation

From west to east the main oil fields in the north of Monagas state are: Oficina Major Area, Quiamare, Jusepn, El Furrial, Orocual, Boquern, Quiriquire and Pedernales. In the south the sub-basin also includes the Orinoco Belt. It has Neogene reservoirs and Cretaceous source rock, with distal migration occurring along and across the Cretaceous-Neogene and Basement-Neogene discordances. Oil gravities are quite varied. In El Furrial and nearby fields medium-type oils are common; Quiamare-La Ceiba produced oils with average 41API; in the Oficina fields, light, medium and heavy oils are found; and in the Orinoco Belt the oil is always heavy. In general, heavy oils are found at the basin margins with the youngest and shallowest reservoirs; this is the case for the Orinoco Belt in the southern flank and the Quiriquire, Manresa and Guanoco fields in the northern flank. The last two fields contain extra-heavy oils.
Petroleum Systems

Preservation Critical moment

Events chart for Guayuta-Oficina (!) petroleum system, Maturn Sub-Basin. The kitchen is located below the Pirital Block (after Talukdar and Marcano, 1994).
Figure 1.61
200 150 100 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 (Ma) Geological time

Tr L

Mesozoic J E M L E

K L Paleo.

Cenozoic Tertiary Eocene Olig.

Q scale Miocene PP

Petroleum system events Formations Source rock Seal Reservoir Burial

Trap formation
Generation migration accumulation

Preservation Critical moment

Events chart for the Guayuta-Carapita (!) petroleum system for the Maturn Sub-Basin. The kitchen is located both in the autochthonous and in the Furrial (allochthonous) blocks (after Talukdar and Marcano, 1994).

The main petroleum systems of Maturn Sub-Basin are: 1) Guayuta-Oficina (!) (Fig. 1.60), and 2) Guayuta-Carapita (!) (Fig. 1.61). The first one is related to the oil fields of the southern flank, and includes the Late Cretaceous Querecual and San Antonio Formations (Guayuta Group) as the main source rocks, overloaded (stratigraphically and tectonically) until the present day. The main reservoirs include Oligo-Miocene units such as Merecure, Oficina and Freites Formations. The principal seals are the Oficina and Freites Formations, and trap formation began during the Oligocene deformation and continues to the present. The generation, migration and accumulation of hydrocarbons is reaching the critical moment at the present. Generation began in the Late Paleocene when the Caribbean nappes overthrusted the South American plate, far to the west and northwest of their actual position.

1 39

PETROLEUM BASINS

M AT U R I N S U B - B A S I N

Figure 1.62

Caribbean Sea
El Pilar Fault

N
San Fran

cisco

Fault

Inmature Mature

Pi rit

al

Th

ru

Very mature
sti ng
ion F ront

Maturn

r Defo

mat

The second system, the GuayutaCarapita (!), is related to the northern flank of the Maturn Sub-Basin. It is characterized by heterogeneous reservoirs and seals, with a younger hydrocarbon generation than the Guayuta-Oficina system. The generationmigration and the trap formation are Late Oligocene to Present, with critical moment at the present time. Important seals are Vidoo, Areo and Carapita Formations, with minor seal capacity in the molassic units such as Morichito, Las Piedras and Quiriquire Formations. San Juan, Caratas, Los Jabillos, Merecure (subsurface Naricual), Carapita, La Pica, Las Piedras and Quiriquire Formations are important reservoirs. The kitchen for the Maturn Sub-Basin source rock is summarized in Fig. 1.62, showing that the source rock is in a gas window below the deformation front, and its maturity zone (oil window) is actually feeding the sub-basins southern flank.

Orinoco River

0 km

20

Ciudad Bolvar

Hydrocarbons kitchen for the Interior Range and Maturn Sub-Basin (after Parnaud et al., 1995).

AUTHORS AND CONTRIBUTORS

This chapter was written by F.Yoris and M.Ostos (E.I.G.LITOS C.A.) with the collaboration of the personnel of LITOS C.A. and of L.Zamora.

The History of Exploration of Venezuela was written by L.Zamora.

1 40

PETROLEUM GEOLOGY OF VENEZUELA

The following definitions are either quoted directly or paraphrased from Bates and Jackson (1987), and are presented here as a reference for the chapters in this book that discuss geological concepts. If the reader wants more information about these terms, the mentioned reference or specialized books are recommended. Allochthonous: Formed or produced elsewhere than in its present place. Here, this term is used to designate portions of Earths crust, separated from their original basement and tectonically transported long distances, and being finally emplaced as allochthonous terranes. Asthenosphere: see Lithosphere. Authochthonous: Formed or produced in the place where now found. Here, this term is used for the Earths crustal portions that are rooted on their original basement. Bathyal: Pertaining to the ocean environment or depth zone between 200 and 2000 meters. Chert: Microcrystalline or cryptocrystalline sedimentary rock consisting dominantly of quartz crystals less than 30 microns in diameter. It may contain amorphous silica or impurities such as calcite, iron oxide, and the remains of siliceous and other organisms. Clastic sediments: Sediments formed by particles derived from the erosion/weathering of preexisting rocks or other sediments, being transported by wind or water. The clastic fractions are: clay ( < 1/256 mm diameter), silt (1/256 to 1/16 mm), sand (1/16 to 2 mm) and gravel ( > 2 mm). Rocks dominated by silt and clay fractions are shales and (siliceous) mudstones, by sand are sandstones, and by gravel are conglomerates. Conglomerate: see Clastic sediments. Diachronism: The transgression, across time planes or biozones, by a rock unit whose age differs from place to place. Economic basement: In the oil industry, the oldest rocks in a given place that do not contain hydrocarbons (ex: sedimentary Jurassic rocks in the Venezuelan oil basins, or igneous and metamorphic rocks with no porosity and permeability). Gondwana: The Late Paleozoic continent of the Southern Hemisphere. The term originates from the Gondwana System of India, which is Carboniferous to Jurassic age and includes glacially derived and coal sediments. Graben: Elongated portion of the Earths crust, relatively depressed in comparison with surrounding areas and bounded by faults on its long sides.

Half-graben: A depressed block bounded on one side by a listric fault. This name is used for some of the relic portions of Western Venezuela Jurassic grabens in which the La Quinta Formation outcrops in the Andes. Hemipelagic sediments: Typical sediments of the continental margin and abyssal plain. More than 25% of the fraction coarser than 5 microns must be either terrigenous, volcanogenic, and/or neritic. Laurasia: The Northern Hemisphere equivalent of Gondwana in the Southern Hemisphere, and from which the Northern Hemisphere continents were derived. Laurentia: A name that is widely and confusingly used for granites and orogenies of Precambrian age in the Canadian Shield. Limestone: A sedimentary rock made up of more than 50% calcium carbonate (calcite); also a carbonate sedimentary rock containing more than 95% calcite and less than 5% dolomite. Lithosphere: The solid portion of the Earth, including the crust and part of the upper mantle. Its rigid behavior contrasts with the underlying asthenosphere, which is capable of flow via convection cells while maintaining its solid constitution. Molasse: An extensive, post-orogenic sedimentary formation resulting from the wearing down of elevated mountain ranges, during or immediately after orogeny. It is usually very thick. Nappe: A sheetlike, allochthonous rock unit, which has moved on a predominantly horizontal surface. The mechanism of transport is usually thrust faulting. Neritic sediments: Those sediments deposited in a marine environment between low tide level and the shelf break. Olistolite: see Olistostrome. Olistostrome: Stratigraphic intervals made up of chaotic, lithologically diverse blocks (Olistolites, sometimes up to several kilometers long), accumulated by sliding and slumping of unconsolidated sediment. Orogenesis: Literally, the process of formation of mountains. In modern usage, orogenic mountain chains are considered the collision boundaries between tectonic plates. Pangea: A supercontinent that existed 200 to 300 million years ago and included most of the existing continental crust. From this supercontinent the present continents were derived by fragmentation and displacement via plate tectonics.

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GLOSSARY

Pelagic sediments: Marine sediments formed mainly from open ocean-suspended particles. These particles can be either nektonic or planktonic. The term pelagic also refers to the water of the ocean as an environment. Pull-apart basin: An extensional basin formed between two strike-slip faults. Regression: A retreat or contraction of the sea from land areas, with a potential increase in subaerially exposed areas. A regressive sedimentary sequence is identified when its sediments paleodepth steadily decreases as they decrease in age. Sandstone: see Clastic sediments. Shale: see Clastic sediments. Siltstone: see Clastic sediments. Subsidence: The downward settling of the Earths surface with little or no horizontal motion. In a sedimentary basin, an increase in subsidence results in a higher capacity to receive sediment. If the basin is trough-shaped, the basin axis reflects the deepest subsidence points.

Tectonic plate: A rigid portion of the Earths lithosphere with seismic activity along its borders. Over geologic time, it has been postulated that the Earths tectonic plates moved over the asthenosphere via convection cell mechanisms. Terrain: A tract or region of the Earths surface considered as a physical feature, an ecological environment, or some planned activity of man. Here, the usage is physical (geological). Terrane: A fault-bounded body of rock of regional extent. A terrane is generally considered to be a discrete allochthonous fragment of oceanic or continental material added to a craton at an active margin by accretion. Thrust front: Regions of the lithosphere associated with nappe emplacement; normally they form mountain ranges near collisional plate limits. Ex: in Venezuela, the Interior Mountain Range (Serrana del Interior) is considered a thrust front associated with the nappe emplacement caused by the collision between the Caribbean and South American Plates. Thrust fronts are also associated with fold and thrust belts. Transgression: The spread or extension of the sea over land areas. A transgressive sedimentary sequence is that in which the Numeric paleodepth of its sediments steadily Eonotheme Eratheme System and Sub-system Series Age (Period and Sub-period) (Eon) (Era) (Epoch) (Ma) increase as they decrease in age. Holocene Quaternary 1.64 Pleistocene Trough: An elongated crustal depression, Pilocene 23.3 Neogene usually associated with a subduction-type Cenozoic Miocene Tertiary Oligocene, Eocene, 65 plate boundary or transformal limit (ex: Paleogene Paleocene Upper (Late) Marianas Trough, in the Pacific Ocean). Cretaceous Lower (Early) 145.8 Upper (Late) Troughs (also: foredeeps) can be found Medium (Middle) Jurassic 208 Mesozoic Lower (Early) parallel to the trend of fold and thrust Upper (Late) Medium (Middle) Triassic 245 Lower (Early) belts due to the lithospheric plate flexure Upper (Late) Permian Lower (Early) 290 produced by its weight. Carboniferous 362.5 Turbidite: Sediment body deposited from Upper (Late) Medium (Middle) 408.5 Devonian turbidity currents. Lower (Early) Paleozoic Turbidity currents: Density currents Silurian 439 Upper (Late) caused by different amounts of matter in Ordovician Medium (Middle) Lower (Early) suspension. They commonly occur along 510 Cambrian the continental slopes and delta fronts, 570 where the discharge of sediments can be very high. 2500 Archaic Vergence: The direction of movement of lithospheric masses involved in thrusting; also the direction of overturning or of Main units of the Chronostratigraphic (Geochronological) Global Standard Scale: inclination of a fold. Ages are in millions of years (Ma) corresponding to those of Harland et al (1990)
Precambrian Fanerozoic

Salvador (1994 : 86) modified.

Pr

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er o

zo

ic

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Albertos, M.A.; Yoris, F.G. and Urbani, F. (1989) Estudio geolgico y anlisis petrogrfico-estadstico de la Formacin Gurico y sus equivalentes en las secciones Altagracia de Orituco-Agua Blanca y Gamelotal-San Francisco de Macaira (estados Gurico y Miranda. VII Congreso Geolgico Venezolano. Sociedad Venezolana de Gelogos (Caracas); Memoria 1: 289-314. Arnstein. R.,E. Cabrera, F. Russomanno, H. Snchez (1985) Revisin Estratigrfica de la Cuenca de Venezuela Oriental. En: Espejo, A.; Ros, J.H. y Bellizzia, N.P. de (Edrs.): VI Congreso Geolgico Venezolano. Sociedad Venezolana de Gelogos (Caracas); Memoria 1: 41-69. Audemard, F. (1991) Tectonics of western Venezuela. Ph.D. Thesis, Rice University (Houston) :245 p. Audemard, F. y Lugo, J. (1996) Notes for Petroleum Geology of Venezuela Short Course. II AAPG/SVG. International Congress & Exhibition, Caracas, 1996. Audemard, F.; Azpiritxaga, Y.; Baumann, P.; Isea, A. y Latreille, M. (1985) Marco geolgico del terciario en la Faja Petrolfera del Orinoco de Venezuela. VI Congreso Geolgico Venezolano. Sociedad Venezolana de Gelogos (Caracas); Memoria 1: 70-108. Ave Lallemant, H. and Guth, L.R. (1990) Role of extensional tectonics in exhumation of eclogites and blueschists in an oblique subduction setting: North-Eastern Venezuela. Geology 18: 950-953. Ave Lallemant, H. (1991) The Caribbean-South American Plate Boundary, Araya Peninsula, Eastern Venezuela. En: Larue, D.K. and Draper, G. (Eds.) 12th Caribbean Geol. Conf., Transactions (St. Croix); Miami Geol. Soc.: 461471. Barberii, E.E. - Editor Tcnico - Quintini Rosales, C.; de la Cruz,M.; Litwinenko, J.; Caro, R. - Coordinadores - (1989) La industria Venezolana de Hidrocarburos. Ediciones del CEPET (Caracas) 2 Tomos. Bartok, P. (1993) Prebreakup geology of the Gulf of Mexico-Caribbean : its relation to Triassic and Jurassic rift systems of the region. Tectonics 12 : 441459. Bates, R. y Jackson, J. (1980) Glossary of Geology. American Geological Institute (Virginia); 2da.Ed.: 751 p. Bell, J.S. (1968) Geologa del rea de Camatagua, Estado Aragua, Venezuela. Bol. Geol. (Caracas) ; 9 (18) : 291-440. Campos, V., Cabrera, S. de; Lander, R. (1985) Estratigrafa del Noroeste de Anzotegui. En: Espejo, A.; Ros, J.H. y Bellizzia, N.P. de (Edrs.): VI Congreso Geolgico Venezolano. Sociedad Venezolana de Gelogos (Caracas); Memoria 1: 156-200. Canache, M.; Pilloud, A.; Truskowski, I.; Crux, J.; Gamarra, S. (1994) Revisin Estratigrfica de la Seccin Cretcica del Ro Maraca, Sierra de Perij, Venezuela. Resumen. V Simposio de Cuencas Subandinas, Memorias; Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela, 1994: 240-241. Casas, J.; Moreno, J. y Yoris, F.G. (1995) Anlisis tectono-sedimentario de la Formacin Pampatar (Eoceno Medio), Isla de Margarita (Venezuela). Asoc. Paleont. Arg. (Buenos Aires), Publ. Espec. 3: Paleogeno de Amrica del Sur: 27-33. Castro, M., Mederos, A. (1985) Litoestratigrafa de la Cuenca de Carpano. En: Espejo, A.; Ros, J.H. y Bellizzia, N.P. de (Edrs.): VI Congreso Geolgico Venezolano. Sociedad Venezolana de Gelogos (Caracas); Memoria 1: 201225. Daal, A. ; Gonzlez, A. ; Hernndez, V. ; Uzctegui, M. ; Rodrguez, H. ; Pizn, J. Y Choppin, H. (1989) Evolucin geolgica de la regin occidental de la cuenca oriental de Venezuela. VII Congreso Geolgico Venezolano. Sociedad Venezolana de Gelogos (Caracas); Memoria 2: 389-402.

Chevalier, Y., Gonzlez, G.; Mata, S.; Santiago, N.; Spano, F. (1995) Estratigrafa Secuencial del Transecto El Pilar - Cerro Negro, Cuenca Oriental de Venezuela. VI Congreso Colombiano del Petrleo, Memorias: 115-125. Creole Petroleum Corporation (1996) Temas Petroleros. Publicacin del Depto. de Relaciones Pblicas, Seccin Educativa. CVET -Comisin Venezolana de Estratigrafa y Terminologa- (1970) Lxico Estratigrfico de Venezuela. Bol. Geol. (Caracas) ; Pub. Esp. 4 : 756 p. Fasola, A., I. Paredes de Ramos (1991) Late Cretaceous Palynological Assemblages from El Furrial Area Wells. Revista Tcnica Intevep; 2 (1) :3-14, Enero - Junio 1991. Figueroa, L. y Hernndez, H. (1990) Exploracin geofsica-geolgica del rea de Guarumen. V Congreso Venezolano de Geofsica. Sociedad Venezolana de Ingenieros Geofsicos (Caracas) ; Memoria :219-227. Galea, F. (1985) Bioestratigrafa y Ambiente Sedimentario del Grupo Santa Anita del Cretceo Superior - Eoceno, Venezuela Nororiental. En: Espejo, A.; Ros, J.H. y Bellizzia, N.P. de (Edrs.): VI Congreso Geolgico Venezolano. Sociedad Venezolana de Gelogos (Caracas); Memoria 1: 703-721. George, R. y Socas, M. (1994) Historia de maduracin termal de rocas madre del Cretcico Superior y Mioceno en la subcuenca de Maturn. V Simposio Bolivariano : Exploracin Petrolera en las Cuencas Subandinas. Sociedad Venezolana de Gelogos (Caracas). Memoria : 405-410. Gonzlez de Juana, C.; Iturralde, J.M. y Picard, X. (1980) Geologa de Venezuela y de sus Cuencas Petrolferas. Ediciones Foninves, (Caracas): 1031 p. Harland et al. (1990) A Geologic Time Scale 1989 : Cambridge Univ. Press : 163 p. Janezic, G. ; Toth, D. y Schrayer, G. (1982) Organic Geochemistry. Integrated Geological Study Eastern Venezuela Basin. Meneven-Gulf (Caracas) ; Parte 2 : 194 p. Kiser, G.D. (1989) Relaciones Estratigrficas de la Cuenca Apure / Llanos con Areas Adyacentes, Venezuela Suroeste y Colombia Oriental. Boletn de la Sociedad Venezolana de Gelogos; Monografa 1: 77 p. Lugo, J., Mann, P. (1995) Jurassic - Eocene Tectonic Evolution of Maracaibo Basin, Venezuela. En : Tankard, A.; Sarez, R.. y Welsink, H.J.: Petroleum Basins of South America : AAPG Mem. 62: 699-725. Macellari, C.E. (1995) Cenozoic Sedimentation and Tectonics of the Southwestern Caribbean Pull-Apart Basin, Venezuela and Colombia. En : Tankard, A.; Sarez, R. y Welsink, H.J.: Petroleum Basins of South America : AAPG Mem. 62: 757-780. Martnez, A.R. (1976) Cronologa del Petrleo Venezolano. Coleccin Ciencia y Petrleo 1, Ediciones Foninves, Caracas: 349 p. Martnez, A. R. (1987) The Orinoco Oil Belt, Venezuela. Journal of Petroleum Geology, 10 (2): 125-134. Martnez, A. R. (1994) Cronologa del Petrleo Venezolano. Ediciones del CEPET, Caracas, 1995; Vol. 2: 462 p. Mndez, J. O. (1978) La Petrlea del Tchira - Cronologa Ilustrada. SVIP, Revista Zumaque, (32): 13-29. Mndez, J.; Marcano, F.; Valera, R.; Gonzlez,C.; Kiser, D.; Martnez, A.; Osuna, S.; Russomano, F; Jam,P.; Jimnez, C.; Prez de Meja, D.; Gaete, C.P. de; Boesi, T.; White, C. (1989) Exploracin. En: Barberii, E.E.(Editor Tcnico) La Industria Venezolana de los Hidrocarburos. Ediciones del CEPET, Caracas: 1-157. Ministerio de Energa y Minas (1985 - 1995) Petrleo y otros Datos Estadsticos (P.O.D.E) Publicacin Anual de la Direccin General Sectorial de Hidrocarburos - Direccin de Economa de Hidrocarburos, Caracas.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY AND REFERENCES

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