Providing confidence in exploration
A set of 30 2D cross sections was structurally restored by CIT-ICP along
the main stress direction (northwest-southeast). Each restored cross section
was thermally constrained using Ecopetrol proprietary software. To capture the
main tectonic events that had implications during hydrocarbon generation and
migration, eight paleosteps were selected at 3, 5, 11, 23, 33, 40, 55, and 65
million years. Each stratigraphic unit present in the cross sections was mapped
in the Petrel platform for the paleosteps. All maps were then imported into
PetroMod software and used as the input to build nine 3D structural
models—one present day and eight paleomodels.
The structural models were populated with lithofacies, for which core
and outcrop data were used to define lithology types and lateral facies
changes. Four source rocks were characterized from laboratory measurements. A
specific kinetic model and organic richness as total organic carbon (TOC) were
assigned to each source rock.
Pressure and thermal boundary conditions through geological time were
defined to constrain the model, and the model was calibrated to well control
for pressure, temperature, and thermal maturity.
Detailed hydrocarbon migration studies were performed to understand the
filling history and migration pathways with a match to known field and observed
accumulations. Analysis of the outputs was conducted to show the dynamic
evolution of the basin and the interaction of the key petroleum system
The resulting consistent 4D geological model is the first full 4D model
of the area, providing CIT-ICP with a better understanding of the source rock
maturity and timing of hydrocarbon generation and migration.
Different tested scenarios identify multiple possible migration pathways
from the potential kitchen areas, currently present only over the highlands, to
the east of the Llanos basin. Although significant hydrocarbon losses are shown
to have occurred through geological time as the development of the Cordillera
caused failure of the seal rock, the model confirms the existence of long
The model is well calibrated: The predicted hydrocarbon accumulations
include good matches with existing fields and accumulations to improve
confidence for supporting Ecopetrol in taking appropriate exploration
decisions. The results are being used not only to add new prospective areas but
also to focus data acquisition for near-field exploration efforts.