Bolivia Sub-Andean Belt & Boomerang Hills

The Surubi discovery in the Mamore block and numerous oil seeps throughout the Sub-Andean region have encouraged examination of the Sub-Andean zone. The number, quality and location of effective petroleum source rocks in the Bolivian Sub-Andean zone has important exploration applications. The purpose of this study is to provide information on oil/source relationships from which prospective plays in the region can be evaluated. One of the fundamental questions to be addressed is the possibility of multiple effective source rocks. Previously, the oils within the Santa Cruz Basin were considered to be of the same organic facies and that differences among the oils were due to the effects of fractionation occurring during migration (Illich, et al., 1981). This study will analyze a diversified suite of gases, oils, and rocks to provide a better understanding of hydrocarbon generation and migration within the Bolivian Sub-Andean study area. All potential Paleozoic source rocks in the region will be characterized in terms of their ability to generate both oil and gas. Results of the study will help identify the most attractive areas for oil and gas exploration.

This geochemical study of the Bolivian Sub-Andean area includes the detailed geochemical analysis and interpretation of more than thirty (30) oils and seeps and more than 650 potential source rock samples from forty (40) well and outcrop locations. Samples were selected to provide regional coverage of the northern, central and southern Sub-Andean areas including the Boomerang Hills area north of Santa Cruz. In addition, gas samples have been collected from ten fields representing the Boomerang Hills area, Santa Cruz Basin, and central and southern Sub-Andean zone.

The geochemical study will assess the source rock potential of all Paleozoic stratigraphic units in the Bolivian Sub-Andean study area. Particular attention will be given to understanding the controls on oil and gas distribution. Results provide new insight on oil/source relationships in the Sub-Andean belt and the adjacent parts of the Beni and Chaco plains.

Results of the study will be presented in both analytical and interpretive formats to ensure that all findings are readily accessible to explorationists and research personnel.

The oil and source rock data will be presented in data volumes with excerpts of the key data incorporated into the final synthesis report.

A comprehensive synthesis and interpretation of all the geochemical data will be presented in a final report. Maps of organic richness and thermal maturity as well as cross sections showing depths of the oil window will be provided in the synthesis.