Dominican seismic pinpoints areas of interest

Click to view larger. Source: Dominican Republic Ministry of Energy and Mines.

The Dominican Republic's Ministry of Energy and Mines reported six areas on- and offshore that could be the starting point for in-depth research on probable hydrocarbon deposits.

Minister Antonio Isa Conde said that the purpose of these 2D seismic studies are for scientists, environmentalists, companies, investors and civil society to take full advantage of them.

He added that sharing this information enables a debate on what the potential for hydrocarbons is and what would be convenient to do with the wealth of hydrocarbons that might exist in the subsurface.

The areas with the largest potential belong to the Enriquillo, Azua, San Juan, Ocoa, San Pedro and East Cibao Basins, with faults and structures that could work as hydrocarbon-retaining traps, but still require more in-depth studies.


The studies conducted by Schlumberger suggest that the locations of greatest interest for further in-depth seismic surveys are in Enriquillo, Azua, San Juan and San Pedro.

The Enriquillo Basin, the report says, “has defined traps that coincide with source rocks, where the Sombrerito and Plaisance rocks are in the oil-generating window.

The Azua Basin, the report says contains, “high structures operating as hydrocarbon reservoirs were determined, and coincide with the Ocoa and Jura source rocks, which are in the oil-generating window.”

The data, provided by Schlumberger specialist Jorge Granados, indicates that the Ocoa and Neiba rocks in the San Juan Basin are in the “oil-generating window” and that there could be potential deposits in deeper layers.

“The basins of Enriquillo, Azua and San Juan have possible migration pathways and hydrocarbon accumulation structures, indicating that the petroleum system is at work in these areas,” Granados says.

“Developing the hydrocarbon potential must be undertaken with due responsibility and, therefore, before making this information publicly available, we developed a regulation to establish clear-cut standards for future exploration activities,” Isa Conde says.

He continued: President Danilo Medina's government has made hydrocarbon information freely and openly available, as unprecedented and of critical importance.

Schlumberger recommends conducting further in-depth analysis and seismic data acquisition or processing. 

Schlumberger was awarded the bid in December 2014 by the Ministry of Energy and Mines to create the National Hydrocarbon Database (BNDH, per its acronym in Spanish) and advise the institution on this topic. The agreement was signed in March of 2015 and the BNDH was delivered in 2016.

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