Understanding the structural styles primarily associated with salt tectonics is crucial for prospectivity assessment of the Southern Mexico salt basins. After almost 80 years of exploration history in the area, giant discoveries such as Zama, with estimated reserves of 1.4 BBO, confirm its high hydrocarbon potential and encourage continuing the exploration activity by integrating newly available seismic data.

We show current results of the ongoing regional structural interpretation in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Except for the extensional systems in the Comacalco basin and in the southern part of the Salina basin, the area is characterized by contractional deformation. These include shale-detached and salt-detached structures as well as decoupled structures (shallow detached on shale, deep detached on salt). Also within the contractional features are squeezed and thrusted diapirs.

The 3D large-scale seismic interpretation included in this work enables delineating different structural and stratigraphic provinces over the area as well as providing a better understanding of the timing of deformation and the relationship among them. The key objectives of this study are to assess trap evolution and timing, structural frequency, stratigraphic variability and potential reservoir development.


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