Interpretation Methodology, Key Deep Shelf Play

Interpretation Methodology, Key Deep Shelf Play


Deep Gas Play is defined as exploration drilling deeper than 15,000 feet below sea floor.  The current reserve estimates for this play are 10.5 tcf recoverable natural gas. The industry needs to find and develop sufficient natural gas to meet near- and mid-term energy needs of the NUnited States and other countries. Its interest has been encouraged by the MMS’s deep gas royalty incentives established in March 2001, but ultimate commercial success depends upon establishing technological criteria to reduce the inherent risks of exploring at these great depths.

The rush to produce commercially successful wells highlights the importance of reducing risk by establishing and understanding the geological and geophysical environment of these deeper prospective targets. Critical environment factors include the structure and stratigraphy of these sediments, heat flow and its relationship to basement tectonics, hydrocarbon migration pathways, etc. All elements must combine to support the seismically derived structural trap which warrants the multi-million-dollar cost to drill the one targeted prospect. This article presents a north-south cross-section traversing the Offshore Louisiana shelf, USA. Interpretation of a seismic section and the magnetic basement structure along the traverse illustrate a relationship between the deep structural framework and the seismic trap, thus building geologic support for a prospective deep gas target.


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