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Recent exploration activity in the Austral-Magallanes Basin revealed the presence of sand injection complexes of Upper Cretaceous–Paleocene age. The discovery of these large-scale sandstone intrusions documents the first onshore example of sand injection complexes as hydrocarbon exploration targets and confirms a more widespread phenomenon than previously known. Integration of regional understanding, three-dimensional seismic reflection data, exploration wells, and whole core have allowed the interpretation of large sand injectites associated with a deep-water depositional system in the Austral-Magallanes Basin. These injectites are characterized seismically by circular to elongate amplitude anomalies with cross-cutting and discordant stratigraphic relationships. Additionally, detailed sedimentological analysis from exploration wells and core confirm the presence of facies consistent with injected sand commonly associated with deep-water depositional systems. The presence of giant sand injection complexes in the Austral-Magallanes Basin records a previously undocumented period of pore-fluid overpressure that led to large-scale hydraulic fracturing of the overburden and subsequent fluidization of sand derived from a deep-water depositional system. The discovery of intrusive traps such as sand injection complexes defines a new play with significant exploration potential; however, additional evaluation is required to understand the nature and degree of primary sandbody geometrical modification and the subsequent impact on reservoir distribution, trap geometry, migration pathways and seals.

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