Skip to content
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Van Tuyl Lecture (Virtual): Dr. Lesli Wood, Colorado School of Mines

November 19, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Lesli Wood, Colorado School of Mines, Robert J. Weimer Chair in Sedimentary and Petroleum Geology

Title: Elephants in Northeastern South America: The Origin and Evolution of Cross-shelf Valleys Feeding the Huge Discoveries in Offshore Guyana and Suriname

Abstract: The northeastern South American margin has been a dream of many a company for decades.  With a hundred years of successful exploration and development in eastern Venezuela and Trinidad, French Guyana, Guyana, Suriname and the Amazon region were golden apples.  Many of the initial wells drilled in the Guyana-Suriname (GS) region by majors such as Shell, Exxon and Conoco were dry holes drilled into shelf edge rotated blocks, reefs or subtle structural closures. Unfortunately, these often came up dry.   First oil to surface did not occur until 1975 when Shell drilled the Abary 1 in to shelf edge Maastrichtian sands.  The massive success of Exxon’s Stabroek Block in Guyana and in the even more recent success by Apache in their Block 58 in Suriname have made the Campanian-Cenomanian slope and basin floor fans the primary targets being chased for what has become a nearly 10 billion barrel prize. However, even with these successes, all is not perfect, as some recent dry holes have shown.  New data suggest that there are two primary source rocks that have been driven through the oil window at two very different time by three very different rivers (Nibblelink et al., 2020).  Rivers draining the paleo-Amazonian drainage disgorged through rift-bounded valleys to feed massive (25 km wide, 1700 m deep) cross-shelf incised valleys (the Berbice) along the Cretaceous margins of Guyana and Suriname.  Although exploration attention has been on deepwater fan reservoirs, an abundance of opportunity exists in the massive deltaic systems (370 m high clinoforms) feeding the continental slope ramp and deeper basin. Additional prospectivity can be found in the older carbonates and deeper slope structures of the margin.  This talk will discuss the history and future of what has become the biggest stack of elephants to be found in a very long time, and touch upon how the discoveries are driving new ideas in South American drainage evolution a

This lecture is scheduled in a virtual format. If you would like to join the presentation, please find the Zoom Meeting Details below:

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
Password: 125982

Or iPhone one-tap: 12532158782,97121296221# or 13462487799,97121296221#

Or Telephone:
Dial: +1 253 215 8782 (US Toll) or +1 346 248 7799 (US Toll)
Meeting ID: 971 2129 6221
International numbers available:

Or a H.323/SIP room system:
H.323: (US West) or (US East)
Meeting ID: 971 2129 6221
Password: 125982

Password: 125982


November 19, 2020
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category:
Event Tags:


Berthoud Hall
1516 Illinois St.
Golden, CO 80401 United States
+ Google Map