South American Shales, Phase 2


$156k (USD) per Sponsor



Principal Investigator(s):

Value to Sponsors

  • Establish an unparalleled understanding of shale resources in South America, enabling well informed exploration and exploitation decisions.
  • Evaluate facies, diagenetic history, microtectonics, fabric, texture, kerogen type and distribution, permeability, pore type and pore distribution at the core, thin section and SEM scales.
  • Expand detailed quantitative and qualitative comparisons between U.S. producing shales and South America’s most promising shales.
  • GIS map database that will include geographic information, topography, shaded relief, satellite image, basin outlines, protected areas, surface geologic map, well locations, oil and gas fields, petroleum infrastructure, data and sample locations, interpretations, and location points derived from this study
  • Digital hot-linked report with particular emphasis on aspects that impact shale gas/liquid potential, including structural/tectonic setting, burial history, petroleum system, geochemistry, heterogeneity, fractures/faults, petrology, petrography, and rock properties, including key maps, cross sections, diagrams and tabulations
  • A ranking of the potentiality of the basins studied, including a geostatistical analysis of the most salient characteristics required for shale gas/liquids play definition

The over-riding objective of Phase 2 is to comprehensively build on the knowledge, database, methodology, experience, contacts and signed agreements of Phase 1. It is the intention to establish an unparalleled understanding of shale resources in South America, enabling sponsors to make well informed exploration and exploitation decisions. Phase 2 research will follow two major avenues.

  1. To collect reservoir-specific core samples to enable extensive testing and measurements. It will also include an integrated interpretation involving seismic and well data.
  2. To use the experience, methodologies and relationships developed in Phase 1 to evaluate an additional set of basins, including:

In Depth Basins


  • Middle Magdalena


  • Neuquen
  • San Jorge

New Basins


  • Llanos
  • Lower Magdalena
  • Catatumbo
  • Cesar-Rancheria
  • Eastern Cordillera
  • Upper Magdalena
  • Sinu-San Jacinto


  • Norte-Oeste
  • Austral


  • Parnaiba
  • Reconcavo


  • Magellanes


  • Norte
  • Santa Licia


  • Pirity
  • Parana

Continuation of Phase 1 Basins (In-depth Evaluation)

Continue the evaluation of selected basins and shales reviewed in Phase 1, exploiting the access to data afforded by the signing of agreements of cooperation with key organizations in Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil. Phase 1 sponsor feedback indicates that the Neuquen Basin (Argentina), San Jorge Basin (Argentina) and the Middle Magdalena Basin (Colombia) should be included in the in-depth assessment. Additional basins may be added with a consensus of Phase 2 sponsors.

New Basins

This element of Phase 2 would involve a preliminary evaluation of additional South American basins (outlined in Objectives), following the pattern established in the Phase 1 project.

Data Sources

Data will be the EGI database, public domain, sponsor contributions and in-country universities and government agencies.


Results are available to project sponsors at interim meetings, data uploads and upon completion of the report. Project staff will be available for consultation throughout the duration of the project.


Note: Phase 2 makes direct use of the results from Phase 1. Phase 1 has been released from confidentiality and is available for download by all EGI members via EGIconnect.