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2015 34th Annual GCSSEPM Foundation Perkins-Rosen Research Conference

Petroleum Systems in “Rift” Basins

DECEMBER 13–16, 2015

OMNI Houston Westside, Houston, Texas

Extensional and transtensional “rift” and overlying/related sag basins have been targeted by petroleum explorationists for nearly 200 years. These basins are “disproportionately rich,” containing ~30% of all ‘giant’ (>500 MMBOE) fields (Mann et al., 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007); but frustrating and confounding to explorationists and developers because each is a unique geological entity; yet all are variations on a common theme (Lambiase, 1994).

Successful “rift” and overlying/related sag basin analogs are notoriously unreliable as analogs. Basins having apparently identical petroleum system elements and processes often are unproductive. Obviously, this is not a structural “problem” to be worked out, nor a sequence stratigraphic or paleoclimatological issue, and it apparently is not as simple as “just a timing ‘thing’.”

As each of these basins is drilled and examined, explorationists and developers continue to be confounded. In some of these basins, discoveries have been made early in the first exploration cycle, while decades pass before discoveries are made in other, very similar, often connected, on-trend basins, if they occur at all. Advances in exploration, development, drilling, and completion concepts and technology have resulted in previously nonproductive basins being reexamined.

We believe that a systematic petroleum system comparative analysis approach will help identify the key combination of elements and processes that result in an effective and exploitable petroleum system in these basins and settings. This approach may help uncover new discoveries in currently nonproductive basins and trends that can be developed with the insights from this conference and new technologies.

More than 40 abstracts have been received and accepted for this conference. The final Program and Abstracts can be downloaded here.