More than 1.68 billion barrels of oil (BBO) and 340 billion cubic feet of gas (BCFG) have been produced from the Cretaceous-Tertiary Total Petroleum System in the Talara Basin province, northwestern Peru. Oil and minor gas fields are concentrated in the onshore northern third of the province. Current production is primarily oil, but there is excellent potential for offshore gas resources, which is a mostly untapped resource because of the limited local market for gas and because there are few pipelines. Estimated mean recoverable resources from undiscovered fields in the basin are 1.71 billion barrels of oil (BBO), 4.79 trillion cubic feet of gas (TCFG), and 255 million barrels of natural gas liquids (NGL). Of this total resource, 15 percent has been allocated to onshore and 85 percent to offshore; volumes are 0.26 BBO and 0.72 TCFG onshore, and 1.45 BBO and 4.08 TCFG offshore. The mean estimate of numbers of undiscovered oil and gas fields is 83 and 27, respectively. Minimum size of fields that were used in this analysis is 1 million barrels of oil equivalent and (or) 6 BCFG.
The Paleocene Talara forearc basin is superimposed on a larger, Mesozoic and pre-Mesozoic basin. Producing formations, ranging in age from Pennsylvanian to Oligocene, are mainly Upper Cretaceous through Oligocene sandstones of fluvial, deltaic, and nearshore to deep-marine depositional origins. The primary reservoirs and greatest potential for future development are Eocene sandstones that include turbidites of the Talara and Salinas Groups. Additional production and undiscovered resources exist within Upper Cretaceous, Paleocene, and Oligocene formations. Pennsylvanian Amotape quartzites may be productive where fractured. Trap types in this block-faulted basin are mainly structural or a combination of structure and stratigraphy. Primary reservoir seals are interbedded and overlying marine shales.
Most fields produce from multiple reservoirs, and production is reported commingled. For this reason, and also because geochemical data on oils and source rocks is very limited, Tertiary and Cretaceous production is grouped into one total petroleum system. The most likely source rocks are Tertiary marine shales, but some of the Cretaceous marine shales are also probable source rocks, and these would represent separate total petroleum systems. Geochemical data on one oil sample from Pennsylvanian rock indicates that it was probably also sourced from Tertiary shales.
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USGS Numbered Series
The Talara Basin province of northwestern Peru: cretaceous-tertiary total petroleum system