This article documents the application of high-impact palynology (HIP) in the Maracaibo Basin of Venezuela and its influence on such exploration and production aspects as regional planning and strategies, risk reduction, optimal drilling decisions and investment, petroleum-system modeling, new discoveries, and secondary recovery by fluid injection, among others. High-impact palynology has been defined as the coupling of high-resolution sequence biostratigraphy, multidisciplinary work, and the alignment of palynology with the attainment of business goals. The first part of this article explains the high-resolution ecostratigraphic methods used and the concept of integrated work applied. The second part of the article shows the results obtained in selected case studies, which illustrate the advantages of HIP. Among the most relevant studies are high-resolution ecostratigraphic frames at a basin level, timing between structural trap formation and oil migration, differentiation of petroleum systems in adjacent reservoirs, the concept of palynoblocks in structurally complex areas to estimate missing sections, stratigraphical models for exploratory wells with better predictions of target horizons, fine-scale reservoir correlations, and discovery of new reservoirs. The use of HIP in other areas is recommended, with palynology as a common in-house practice within multidisciplinary teams formed especially for each specific task.

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