Abstract

The Neuquén Basin is one of the most important hydrocarbon producing basins of Argentina and is presently being explored and restudied because of its unconventional reservoirs rocks. Since the basin resulted from thermo-mechanical processes acting on a structured lithosphere a geodynamic analysis was needed for interpreting the regional distribution of its depositional sequences and their associated unconventional reservoirs. This basin corresponds to a continental rift developed during differential intraplate stresses derived from a backarc extension. Most of the border fault systems consist of reactivated structures whose attitude with respect to the extensional regime controlled the geometry of the basin. The infilling consists of clastic and pyroclastic rocks sourced from continental alluvial-fluvial environments during Triassic to Early Jurassic times to alternative marine-continental during most of the Jurassic to Cretaceous times. This evolution is consistent with troughs growing larger through time but being affected by recurrent extensional pulses during accelerated basin subsidence and or seal level change overlapped by compressional forces which resulted in a complex environmental relationship throughout the basin. Consequently, vertical and lateral facies variations are present in reservoir rocks along the basin which requires a detail analysis to proper model the petroleum systems. Especially because significant hydrocarbon source rocks of this basin, that can be produced as unconventional, like the highly known Vaca Muerta Formation. The aim of the present contribution is then to propose an integrated, geodynamic and tecnostratigraphic model to the Neuquén Basin which can improve the understanding of its geological evolution particularly considering that the estimated resources related to unconventional reservoirs are 455 TCF.

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