The decade from 1978 to 1988 was prolific in Mexico in the discovery of giant oil fields. Some of these fields can be considered supergiants according to Michel T. Halbouty's classification, including Agave, Giraldas, Paredon, Abkatun, Ek, Ku, Maloob, and Pol.
This paper reports on 21 of these giant oil fields discovered in Mexico during the 1978-88 decade. Eleven of these fields are in the Chiapas-Tabasco area (Agave, Bellota, Cardenas, Giraldas, Iris, Jujo, Luna, Muspac, Paredon, Sen, and Tecominoacan), and ten are in the Sonda de Campeche area (Abkatun, Bacab, Batab, Caan, Chuc, Ek, Ku, Maloob, Pol, and Uech). Original reserves totaled approximately 23 billion bbl of liquid hydrocarbons BOE.
The Chiapas-Tabasco (onshore) and Sonda de Campeche (offshore) areas are adjacent to each other and are similar both geologically and in reservoir behavior (Figure 1). For this reason, the fields from both areas are covered together, with references to regional variations that illustrate the differences among them.
Some of the giant oil fields of southeastern Mexico were described by Santiago (1980).
Figures & Tables
The success of Memoir 14 and the worldwide interest shown for data on giant fields prompted AAPG to schedule a symposium on giant fields at the end of each subsequent decade. The 1968-78 symposium was held in Houston, Texas, April 1-4, 1979, and the papers were published in AAPG Memoir 30, December 1980.
The Stavanger Conference "Giant Oil and Gas Fields of the Decade: 1978-1988" was held in Stavanger, Norway, September 9-12, 1990, and is a continuation of the Giants of the Decade series.
Scientific studies and projections of future world energy demand indicate that although alternative-energy fuel sources must be actively pursued and developed, there also must be adequate petroleum supplies to bridge the gap. For the international petroleum industry, the years covered by this conference, 1978-88, were complex. They were years of boom and bust. The world's energy consciousness was boosted sharply by the effects of the 1979 Iranian revolution and the resulting embargo, which sent world oil prices to record heights. Global petroleum exploration soon surged, leading to the industry's all-time drilling high in 1981. Then came the oil price collapse in 1985, and the following years were characterized by falling oil prices and drastic budget cuts for exploration and development.
Although exploration dropped sharply during the latter part of the decade, there was a steady flow of giant oil and gas field discoveries. Using the giant field designation criteria of 500 million bbl of oil recoverable for fields in Asiatic Russia, North Africa, and the Middle East,