Oil Possibilities of Colombia
- Chester W. Washburne | K.D. White
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Transactions of the AIME
- Publication Date
- December 1923
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,023 - 1,031
- 1923. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 5.1.2 Faults and Fracture Characterisation, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 1.10.1 Drill string components and drilling tools (tubulars, jars, subs, stabilisers, reamers, etc), 1.6 Drilling Operations
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Colombia has an almost ideal situation with respect to the world's markets,being only a short distance from the Panama Canal and the West Indies. Thesailing distance from its Caribbean ports to New York is less than that fromTampico.
Geographically, Colombia consists of three systems of broad mountain rangesseparated by two long narrow valleys. The Cauca River valley separates theWestern or Coastal range from the Central range. On the west side of theCoastal range are the Atrato and San Juan Rivers. The Central and Easternranges are separated by the Magdalena River valley. In the department ofSantander the Eastern range divides, one branch continuing northward as theCordillera of Perija, the other turning eastward across Venezuela as theCordillera of Merida. Between these ranges is the great basin occupied by LakeMaracaibo.
These valleys consist mainly of long narrow reentrants or tongues ofTertiary sediments between the older rocks of the mountain ranges. The lateMiocene and younger sediments seem to have been deposited in separated basins,but the Cretaceous and possibly some earlier Tertiary strata were laid downmore or less continuously over a great part of Colombia and Venezuela. Thesestrata were subsequently folded into the present ranges. The deposition of theCretaceous and of some of the Tertiary was in a great sea, the main land massbeing in Brazil, with land probably along some of the cores of the presentmountain systems. The sediments, except the Lower Cretaceous, vary markedly incharacter and thickness. An illustration is seen in the massive series ofnon-marine conglomerates and sandstones of the upper Magdalena River valley,near Honda, which are almost wholly wanting in the coastal sections wheremarine sediments prevail.
The oldest rocks bearing on the search for oil are the black carbonaceousand bituminous shales, limestones, and cherts of the upper part of the LowerCretaceous. These probably are the main source of oil in both Colombia andVenezuela. They include thick bodies of true "oil shale." Above thecarbonaceous and bituminous beds, lies a series of many thousand feet ofclastic sediments. The most noticeable and easily recognizable formation amongthese clastic sediments is the" coalbearing series," which may beeither upper Cretaceous or Eocene.
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