Gravity and magnetic field characteristics and hydrocarbon prospects of the Tobago Basin
B. Yuan, L. Song, L. Han, S. An and C. Zhang
Journal name: Geophysical Prospecting
Issue: Vol 66, No 8, October 2018 pp. 1586 - 1601
Info: Article, PDF ( 14.93Mb )
The Tobago Basin, which is located offshore northern Venezuela with a southern margin close to Trinidad and Tobago, has an area of approximately 59,600 km2. The Tobago Basin has relatively favourable hydrocarbon prospects, and to date, exploration work has mainly concentrated on small areas of the southwestern portion of the basin. To conduct a comprehensive study of the structural framework of the basin and the characteristics of the basement in order to identify prospective zones for hydrocarbon exploration, shipborne-measured and satellite-measured gravity data, shipborne-measured magnetic data, and aeromagnetic survey data were analysed. A regularisation filtering method was used to separate and obtain regional and residual gravity and magnetic anomalies. Directional gradients of gravity and magnetic anomalies and the total horizontal gradient and vertical second derivative of gravity anomalies were employed to extract information about fault structures. Regression analysis methods were used to determine the basement depth. The geological significance of the gravity and magnetic fields was examined, the structural framework of the basin was assessed, the basement depth was estimated, and favourable hydrocarbon exploration prospects within the basin were identified. The results show that the Tobago Basin contains complex structures consisting mainly of two groups of faults trending in northeasterly and northwesterly directions and that the major northeasterly trending faults control the main structural configuration and depositional system within the basin. The basement of the Tobago Basin has deep rises and falls. It can be divided into the following four secondary tectonic units: the western sub-basin, the central uplift area, the southern sub-basin, and the northeastern sub-basin. The central uplift area and northeastern sub-basin are most likely to have developed hydrocarbon accumulations and should be targeted for further exploration.