PetroStrat invites companies exploring the Lower Tertiary of the Gulf Coast and deep water GoM to participate in a non-proprietary biostratigraphy study of the onshore and shallow offshore Lower Tertiary succession. This palynology-led correlation project is designed to help identify spatial variations in vegetation along the Paleocene-Eocene paleo-coastline, that will help to determine sedimentary provenance within the inboard and outboard areas of the deep water GoM.
The study will also contribute significantly to the development of a high resolution sequence-stratigraphic framework for the Lower Tertiary succession across the Gulf Coast and within the GoM facilitating vastly improved correlation of the onshore Frio, Claiborne, Wilcox, and Midway Groups with time equivalent successions encountered in the deep water setting.
The Lower Tertiary play has become a key focus for exploration in the deep water Gulf of Mexico. The thick clastic Paleocene to Early Eocene succession comprises deep water turbidite fan systems derived from a paleo-shelf that extended across the modern day Gulf Coast. Time equivalent fluvial, deltaic and shallow marine sandstones of the Wilcox have long been recognized as important petroleum plays across the Gulf Coast.
Biostratigraphic studies of the Lower Tertiary have traditionally been carried out using forams and nannofossils and yet calcareous fossils are generally quite scarce, especially within the basal Eocene and Paleocene succession where terrigenous fossils overwhelm the restricted marine fossil assemblages. Additionally, published references concerning palynology tend to focus more upon the terrigenous spores and pollen. Only limited reference has been made to the autochthonous marine microplankton component of palynofloras, especially dinocysts, and there is only limited integration between the marine and non-marine palynofloral datasets.
The main objective of the project is to build an extensive biostratigraphic database for wells and key outcrops across the Gulf Coast in order to refine the biostratigraphic breakdown of the Eocene to Paleocene interval. Emphasis will be placed on the previously underutilized tool of palynology, with quantitative analyses to be carried out on over 2500 samples. The results will be integrated with foram and nannofossil data (including selected new analyses and published data) in order to produce a fully integrated biostratigraphic framework from the base of the Paleocene to the basal Oligocene. A re-evaluation of the lithologic characteristics of the formations will also be carried out to help gain a greater understanding of their sedimentology, thickness and facies distribution.
For more information, please download our PDF flyer.