Caribbean Basins, Tectonics, and Hydrocarbons Project
UH EAS
University of Houston

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What's New

  • New CBTH Newsletter - January 2024 edition (PDF)

  • Juan Pablo Ramos received the 2023 Gordan I. Atwater Award for Outstanding Poster Presentation at the GeoGulf 2024 in April! In May, Juan Pablo completed his PhD study titled "Tectonostratigraphic Studies of the Paleogene Yucatan Back-Arc Basin, the Miocene-Recent Collisional Zone Between the Panama Arc and South America, and the Late Cretaceous Caribbean Large Igneous Province and its Adjacent Oceanic Crust," which is now available on our sponsor website. This summer, Juan Pablo will begin working for BP. Congratulations on these outstanding accomplishments!

  • Congratulations to PhD student Chesney Petkovsek, who successfully proposed her PhD dissertation topic on February 16, 2024, to PhD committee members Paul Mann, John Castagna, Jiajia Sun and Michael Shoemaker.

  • Thanks to Andy Pepper and Jean-Marie Laigle for providing CBTH and other students from EAS a one-day shortcourse on basin modeling on January 24, 2024.

  • CBTH PhD students Juan Pablo Ramos and Kenneth Shipper presented at the HGS International Group Virtual Zoom Luncheon on January 17, 2024. For more information, click here.

  • Congratulations to CBTH students Juan Pablo Ramos, Jumoke Akinpelu, and Upal Shahriar, who won the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place awards, respectively, in the Advanced PhD category at the 2023 Robert E. Sheriff Lecture on November 13. This event was hosted by the Houston Geological Society and the University of Houston Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

  • The CBTH Annual Sponsor Meeting was held on Friday, October 6, 2023. These presentations are now available for download on the Sponsors Only section of our website. Abstracts for this year's meeting can be downloaded by clicking here.

  • CBTH students and researchers presented at IMAGE 2023 on August 28 - September 1. Sponsors can download this year's presentations by clicking here (login required).

  • Our new CBTH Project Phase VII Proposal (2023-2026) is now online! Click here to download the PDF.

  • CBTH congratulates Faith Walton on graduating from UH with a BS in May 2023 in geology with a minor in geophysics and a minor in energy and sustainability. She will be starting the MS program in geology at Louisiana State University in August 2023 where she will be working as a graduate research assistant with Dr. Sam Bentley on sedimentological studies of the Mississippi Delta. Faith worked on scanning and GIS database management for the CBTH Project along with a senior thesis on the opening of the Gulf of California. Faith recently received the first place award for her presentation on the Gulf of California at the 2023 Student Research Day at UH.

  • Congratulations to Juan Pablo Ramos and Ruth Beltran, who placed 1st and 3rd, respectively, in the Student Poster Competition at GeoGulf23!

  • Kyle Reuber, a 2017 PhD grad from the UH CBTH Project and now a Senior Geoscientist with TGS, has published a paper in the May 2023 Special Issue of the journal First Break entitled: Global Exploraton Hotspots. His paper is titled "Frontier Basins of Latin America: Realizing Deep-Water Potential and uses the TGS seismic data library to review the exploration status of South American basins from Guyana to Argentina." Click here to read the full article.

  • Congratulations to the 2023 summer interns from the CBTH Project: Juan Pablo Ramos (BP Gulf of Mexico group) and Mohamed Abdelfatah (ExxonMobil)

  • Congratulations to recent CBTH Project graduates who are now working full-time in the oil and gas industry:
    • Nahid Hasan, PhD, exploration geology GOM group at BP
    • Nawaz Bugti, PhD, now postdoc with XFrac project at EAS
    • Bryan Moore, MS, exploration geologist with Caribbean group at TotalEnergies
    • Sean Romito, development and operations geologist with ConocoPhillips group in Permian basin
    • Ben Miller, MS, exploration geophysicist with ExxonMobil New Ventures group
    • Maddie Bishop, exploration geologist with Arena Exploration
    • Mei Liu, geophysicist with TGS
    • Hualing Zhang, PhD, now postdoctoral researcher with PetroChina (Beijing) working on the Junggar basin in NW China
    • Jake Miller, MS, exploration geophysicist with BP GOM group
    • Steve Leslie, PhD, exploration geologist with Repsol Mexican Gulf of Mexico group
    • Marcus Zinecker, exploration geologist with BP GOM group
    • Tarek Galhom, MS, PhD researcher in carbon capture at the University of Bergen in Norway
    • Jack Kenning, exploration geologist in New Ventures group at ConocoPhillips

  • CBTH graduate Carolina Mejia (MS, 2015) was recently interviewed on Relatecast about her work as an international geologist. Click here to view the full video.



  • The Elsevier volume titled "Deepwater Sedimentary Systems," which features chapters by Dr. Paul Mann and CBTH PhD student Md Nahidul Hasan, was recently reviewed by Charles Sternbach in the December issue of AAPG Explorer. Click here to read the review.

  • Congratulations to CBTH PhD student Md Nahidul Hasan, who won the Best Student Poster Presentation Award at the HGS-PESGB Africa Conference in September. Click here to read more.

  • CBTH graduate Rocio Bernal Olaya (PhD, 2014) was the subject of a recent article on Subsuelo3D's website. Click here to read more.

Juan Pablo Ramos receives the 2023 Gordan I. Atwater Award for Outstanding Poster Presentation at the April 2024 GeoGulf meeting in San Antonio, TX Thanks to Andy Pepper and Jean-Marie Laigle for providing CBTH and other students from EAS a one-day shortcourse on basin modeling on January 24, 2024. Juan Pablo Ramos presents at AGU 2023 Kenneth Shipper visits a poster presenter at AGU 2023 Kenneth Shipper, Juan Pablo Ramos, and Jose Gorosabel visit Point Reyes National Seashore during AGU 2023 Jumoke Akinpelu presents her work at the 2023 Sheriff Lecture Daniel Maya presents his work at the 2023 Sheriff Lecture Upal Shahriar presents his work at the 2023 Sheriff Lecture Kenneth Shipper presents his work at the 2023 Sheriff Lecture Jumoke Akinpelu presents her work at the 2023 Sheriff Lecture Daniel Maya presents his work at the 2023 Sheriff Lecture Upal Shahriar presents his work at the 2023 Sheriff Lecture Ruth Beltran presents her work at the 2023 Sheriff Lecture Kenneth Shipper presents his work at the 2023 Sheriff Lecture Juan Pablo Ramos presents his work at the 2023 Sheriff Lecture CBTH students and staff meet at The Den after the 2023 Annual Sponsor Meeting Jose Gorosabel presents at the 2023 CBTH Annual Sponsor Meeting Paul Mann presents at the 2023 CBTH Annual Sponsor Meeting Sharon Cornelius presents at the 2023 CBTH Annual Sponsor Meeting Daniel Maya presents at the 2023 CBTH Annual Sponsor Meeting Jumoke Akinpelu presents at the 2023 CBTH Annual Sponsor Meeting Ruth Beltran presents at the 2023 CBTH Annual Sponsor Meeting Daniel Maya presents a 3-minute talk on the HC prospects of the Namiba-Argentina conjugate margin on September 15, 2023. Mohamed Abdelfatah presents a 3-minute talk on the HC prospects of the Red Sea on September 15, 2023. Jumoke Akinpelu presents a 3 minute talk on the HC prospects of the Niger delta on September 15, 2023. Ruth Beltran presents a 3-minute talk on the HC prospects of the sub-salt area of the deepwater Brazilian margin on September 15, 2023. Upal Shahriar presents a 3-minute talk on the HC prospects of the Mauritanian rifted-passive margin on September 15, 2023. Kenneth Shipper presents a 3-minute talk on the crustal structure of the Bahamas carbonate platform on September 15, 2023. CBTH personnel met with project sponsors, data providers and former CBTH students at the annual IMAGE luncheon. Ruth Beltran presents at IMAGE 2023 Juan Pablo Ramos explains his IMAGE 2023 poster on the crustal structure and hydrocarbon potential of the deepwater Colombian basin to student poster session judges. Mohamed Abdelfatah presents his study of Red Sea rifting to AAPG student poster judges. Kenneth Shipper presents his basin model for the Guyana-Suriname zone of recent discoveries to AAPG student poster judges and visitors. Juan Pablo Ramos wins 1st Place in the Student Poster Competition at GeoGulf23 Ruth Beltran wins 3rd Place in the Student Poster Competition at GeoGulf23 Kenneth Shipper presents at GeoGulf23 Juan Pablo Ramos wins 1st Place in the Student Poster Competition at GeoGulf23 Ruth Beltran wins 3rd Place in the Student Poster Competition at GeoGulf23 Dr. Sharon Cornelius presenting her talk at the 2023 Geogulf meeting on the comparison between the Gulf of Mexico and  Campos-Santos salt basins. Kenneth Shipper presents at GeoGulf23 Upal Shahriar presents at GeoGulf23 Ruth Beltran presents at GeoGulf23 Juan Pablo Ramos presents at GeoGulf23 PhD graduate Nahid Hasan presents at GeoGulf23 CBTH students Upal Shahriar, Kenneth Shipper, Daniella Easley, and Ruth Beltran (from L to R) present at GeoGulf23 Short course on basin modeling by J.M. Laigle Jose Gorosabel presenting during a visit with TotalEnergies in April 2023 Kenneth Shipper presenting during a visit with TotalEnergies in April 2023 Jose Gorosabel presenting during a visit with Apache Corporation in March 2023

CBTH Proposal and Product Information

Please feel free to browse a copy of our new Phase VII proposal (pdf now online!), our project flyer(.pdf), and our Contributions List of CBTH publications, theses, and presentations.

The CBTH study area for Phase VII is shown below. This area includes the oil-rich areas of the Mexican and US sectors of the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, and northern South America, as well as the conjugate margins of Guyana, Suriname, Brazil, and west Africa.

CBTH Study Area (revised September 2023)

click map to enlarge

The CBTH study area for Phase VII, Year 1. Numbered boxes correspond to the following regions:

  • 1) Nicaraguan Rise, Caribbean Sea
  • 2) Colombian Basin, Colombian and Panamanian Caribbean margins
  • 3) Barbados accretionary prism, Caribbean
  • 4) Guyana-Suriname margin, northeastern South America
  • 5) Equatorial Brazil
  • 6) Campos-Santos basins, Brazil
  • 7) Uruguayan/Argentinian margin
  • 8) Namibian margin, west Africa
  • 9) Equatorial Guinea margin, west Africa
  • 10) Niger Delta, west Africa
  • 11) Mauritania-Guinea Plateau margin, northwest Africa
  • 12) Morocco-Nova Scotia conjugate, northwest Africa and east coast of North America


Goals of the CBTH Project

The CBTH Project seeks to create a GIS-based digital and atlas synthesis of available seismic and well data to define the regional hydrocarbon potential of a vast region affected by the Mesozoic breakup of Pangea. This project, which has been operating since September 1, 2005, includes: 1) known hydrocarbon basins of onshore and the lesser known offshore basins of the Caribbean and northern South America (Venezuela, Colombia, Trinidad, Suriname, Guyana, Northern Brazil); 2) the US and Mexico sectors of the Gulf of Mexico; 3) and the rifted-passive margins of Central America, eastern North America, and western Europe, and the South Atlantic conjugate margins in South America and west Africa. Our main objectives are to compile all the available digital seismic and published data in a GIS database to provide an integrated geologic synthesis of tectonosequences, depositional systems, major structures, petroleum geology, paleogeographic maps, and quantitative plate reconstructions for a better understanding of the hydrocarbon systems in the region. Our largest concentration of data and current studies are in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico but we have several recently completed and ongoing projects in Brazil and west Africa.


Articles on CBTH Research

  • Dr. Paul Mann the subject of an article in the December 2020 issue of AAPG Explorer. Click here to read.

  • CBTH PhD candidate Jack Kenning, who recently won 1st place in the Student Poster Competition at the AAPG 2019 Annual Convention and Exhibition, is the subject of an article in the October 2019 issue of AAPG Explorer. Click here to read the article.

  • The UH IBA Team won first place in the Imperial Barrel Award Program (IBA) of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) International Competition on May 18, 2019. They previously won first place in the Gulf Coast Section competition on March 17. Click here to read a writeup on their achievement in AAPG Explorer.

  • The CBTH Project was featured in the December 2018 of GEO ExPro in an article on the conjugate margins of the Gulf of Mexico. The work highlight was the CBTH-supported master's research of Andrew Steier, who is an now an explorationist with the GOM group at Total in Houston. Other CBTH work that this study was based on includes Luan Nguyen (Nguyen and Mann, 2015) and the 2018 PhD study by Pin Lin (now at Chinese National Offshore Oil Company in China). Click here to read.

  • CBTH PhD student Lucia Torrado was the subject of an article in the June 2017, issue of AAPG Explorer. Click here to read.

  • Dr. Paul Mann and CBTH MS students Eric Lunn and Andrew Steier were the subject of an article in the June 2017 issue of AAPG Explorer. Click here to read.

  • The CBTH Project was the subject of an article in the October 2012 issue of AAPG Explorer. Click here to read.

A special thanks to our current industry sponsors who have helped make this project possible:
A special thanks to our inactive sponsors who previously supported the CBTH Project:

A special thanks for data sharing:

A special thanks to our technical support:



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