Filling the White Space

With oil and gas becoming harder to find, the E&P industry has to move away from the well-controlled, data-rich hydrocarbon provinces, and move into frontier basins and the unknown. It is in these areas that a big picture understanding is the most valuable, as the lack of data demands an appreciation of what is going on elsewhere in order to fill in the white space. This is by no means an easy task, but if equipped with the right tools and mind-set, it is possible.


On Thursday 11th May Landmark Exploration Insights will be hosting the 8th London Earth Model Forum at The Geological Society, during which Richard James (Exploration Insight Geoscientist), will present on the “Geological predictions along a tectonically complex margin: frontier exploration in the South Caribbean”

Abstract: The South Caribbean margin is located adjacent to two of the world’s largest hydrocarbon provinces — the Maracaibo and East Venezuela basins — yet exploration along this margin remains frontier. A protracted history of shortening and lateral translation has resulted in a margin characterised by numerous, seemingly isolated basins in a variety of tectonic settings overlying a heterogeneous collage of basement terranes.

Scattered oil and gas fields around the periphery of the South Caribbean Margin confirm the presence of key petroleum system elements, but the stratigraphic position of source horizons are debated, while the age and lithology of reservoir facies vary along the margin. Well control is patchy and the complex structural history of the area makes it difficult to extend meaningful play concepts from neighbouring areas. It is tempting to apply play paradigms from the well-explored basins to the south, hence the idea of an ‘in-situ’ or ‘Intra-Americas’ geodynamic model for the Caribbean Plate has gained some traction. However, this is misleading and ignores some pertinent observations on the diachroneity of syn-tectonic stratigraphy, observed structural styles and the presence of exotic fauna in Caribbean terranes.

Successful exploration along the South Caribbean margin will require a robust geodynamic framework. The integration of disparate hardrock and stratigraphic datasets with our geodynamic model enables informed estimations to be made. This presentation outlines how we can infer the distribution and timing of petroleum system elements in areas where data control is lacking.


This one of a series of technical presentations which will be delivered by Landmark Exploration Insights on Thursday 11th May at our LIFE London event: The Earth Model Forum, at The Geological Society, London. The full details of the event and agenda can be found here.

Join us as we address some of the key geological challenges facing exploration and unveil the latest developments at the heart of our offering.  


This event is free of charge, but spaces are limited. Reserve your place today by contacting us at