Maracaibo Basin

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The Maracaibo Basin is a prolific, hydrocarbon-producing sedimentary basin in northwestern Venezuela with estimated oil reserves of approximately 44 billion barrels (1,722,285,000 m³). The basin is bounded on the north by the Oca Fault which separates it from the Caribbean. The remaining sides of the basin are bounded by a branching in the northern Andes Mountains termed the Sierra de Perijá (to the west) and the Mérida Andes (to the south and east). The city of Maracaibo, Venezuela is located in the northern central part of the basin on the shore of Lake Maracaibo, which occupies the central part of basin.

Oil was discovered in producible quantities in Venezuela in 1914 at the town of Mene Grande in the east central part of the basin. The site of the first well was near a surface oil seep.

Venezuela produces a mix of conventional heavy crude and nonconventional crude derived from bitumen. This latter source, previously too expensive to produce in quantity, now makes up an increasing large percent of Venezuela's oil exports—600,000 of Venezuelas's three million barrels per day in 2006. In the Maracaibo Basin, the balance of reserves is toward its conventional deposits, which make up half of the country's exports. As the country continues shifting toward bitumen production due to its increasing profitability and decreases in conventional reserves, the level of Maracaibo Basin oil production will decrease, while that of the Orinoco Belt and its massive bitumen deposits will increase.

The Bolivar Coastal Field, BCF, on the eastern shore of Lake Maracaibo produces from Miocene sandstones and Eocene sandstones including the "B-6-X".[1] West of Maracaibo, the La Paz Field produces from Cretaceous limestones, and oil is found in the stratigraphic traps of Boscan, Los Claros and the Urdaneta fields.[2] A large faulted anticline east of the BCF contains the Mene Grande Field, discovered in 1914, while the Las Cruces Field is in the south end of the basin.[3] The Ceuta-Tomoporo Field was discovered in 1956.[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Martinez, A.R., Giant Fields of Venezuela, in Geology of Giant Petroleum Fields, AAPG Memoir 14, Halbouty, M.T., editor, Tulsa: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, p. 328.
  2. ^ Martinez, A.R., Giant Fields of Venezuela, in Geology of Giant Petroleum Fields, AAPG Memoir 14, Halbouty, M.T., editor, Tulsa: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, p. 328.
  3. ^ Martinez, A.R., Giant Fields of Venezuela, in Geology of Giant Petroleum Fields, AAPG Memoir 14, Halbouty, M.T., editor, Tulsa: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, p. 328.
  4. ^ Ramirez, E., and Marcano, F., 1992, Ceuta-Tomoporo Field, Venezuela, In Giant Oil and Gas Fields of the Decade, 1978-1988, AAPG Memoir 54, Halbouty, M.T., editor, Tulsa: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, ISBN0891813330, pp. 163-173

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