We have mapped gas hydrates, free gas, and bottom-simulating-reflector (BSR) distributions in an area of the Mexican Ridges, central Gulf of Mexico, Mexico, revealing the relationship between these three elements and the tectonostratigraphy. The three elements are more visible when the host rock is a high-porosity sandstone because there is a large seismic impedance contrast between the solid gas hydrates above and the free gas below, which manifests itself on the seismic as a BSR. Gas hydrates are identified in the well as higher resistivity sandstone layers with a strong positive amplitude. When the host rock has a higher shale content with lower porosity, the impedance contrast is lower and the BSR is weak or not visible. The study area in Mexican Ridges is an anticline where gas hydrates and free gas are trapped on the crest after migrating through the dipping layers and faults from synclines that are generated in calcareous shale. The main seal is mass transport complex deposits from the Pliocene; when they are not deposited at the crest of the anticline, there is gas escape to the seafloor in the form of a gas chimney. In this way, we established a complete petroleum system for gas hydrates and free gas on the Mexican Ridges.

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