First Published: First Break, Vol. 42, June 2024 by Kyle Reuber, TGS, Bruno Conti, ANCAP, Milos Cvetkovic, TGS, Pablo Rodriguez, ANCAP and Henri Houllevigue, TGS

Here we present the seamless merge and calibration of >25,000 km² from four separate, vintage 3D seismic volumes into a single volume interpretation tool.

The offshore basins of Uruguay and Southern Brazil have a limited oil and gas exploration history. Since the announcements of light oil discoveries on the conjugate margin of Namibia, this area has become an epicentre of interest for hydrocarbon explorers. The Punta del Este and Pelotas basins are considered underexplored and, as such, possess an elevated risk profile. Identifying analogous, conjugate petroleum system elements is a component in the framework to reduce that risk. Additionally, the calibration and integration of subsurface data in the search for the
next hydrocarbon discovery is paramount to a successful wildcat.

Here, we highlight the seamless merge and calibration of >25,000 km² from four separate, vintage 3D seismic volumes into a single volume interpretation tool. This allows interpreters to gain a contiguous and unobstructed view and, therefore, an understanding of the regional geologic framework. When integrated with existing 2D data, the merged volume has permitted an improved understanding of the basin’s evolution, the tectonostratigraphic history and elements of the prospectivity for the region. As oil companies continue to flock to the region looking for the next discovery, advancing tools in the explorer’s toolkit is the key to success.

Figure 9 Chair with Channels 4 10 24

Recent South Atlantic hydrocarbon discoveries on the Namibian margin have drawn the attention of oil and gas explorers back to the basins of Uruguay and southern Brazil. Since 2022, a string of multi-billion-barrel discoveries in the Orange Basin has confirmed functioning world-class Cretaceous petroleum systems. Because early basin histories of conjugate margins are analogous, the South American basins of Uruguay and Southern Brazil are now considered to contain many of the same petroleum system elements and be equally prospective. A favourable economic and political environment in Uruguay, combined with this new perspective, has led to the entirety of the offshore license acreage being secured by major global energy players. The December 2023 Brazilian bid round also revealed optimism by operators in the region. In this high-stakes game of hydrocarbon exploration, oil companies seek data and methods to reduce their risk profile while searching for the next giant oil and gas discovery.

This article summarises our regional 3D reprocessing and calibration project results and our observations from the available data library. The results of this study illustrate the importance
of regional integration of subsurface data and the application of analogous play concepts that highlight the potential for an oil and gas boom along this margin segment.

Read the full article here.