Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Exploration


Garden Banks - Keathley Canyon bathymetric map
Shaded relief bathymetric map of Garden Banks and Keathley Canyon, deep water Gulf of Mexico
Data source: National Oceanic and Atmospehric Administration (NOAA)


    Between 1997 and 1999 I have worked on several deepwater exploration and prospect-development projects. They are annotated on the map above:
  • Excalibur - Shell's first ever abyssal plain prospect
  • Scarlatti
  • Cayenne - to be drilled in 1999
  • Curacao
  • Magnolia - a 1999 Conoco discovery
  • Habanero - a 1999 Shell discovery
  • Ripcord

    In addition to prospect work I worked the N.E. Garden Banks Regional Study, a long-term project aimed at building a regional basin framework of northeastern Garden Banks.  
The goal of the study was to develop a robust regional geologic and geophysical framework that that would allow consistent prospect evaluation and exploration risk management.  
    The approximate boundaries of the study are shown by the yellow rectangle in the figure above. The study covered several important basins called Tampa, Auger, Andros and Savannah Basins. This has been an area of intense development and exploration activity.
    The regional Study project consisted of three phases:
  • Establishing a salt tectonic model for the evolution of the basins in the area
  • Applying the high-resolution Auger Basin Sequence Model (Booth et al., pers. comm) to the entire area
  • Building a regional geophysical model that would predict sand amplitude responses within key sequences across the entire area

    This study ran until mid 2000.