Caribbean Basins, Tectonics, and Hydrocarbons Project
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UH Dept. of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
| UiS Dept. of Petroleum Engineering
University of Houston

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What's New

  • New CBTH Newsletter - March 2019 edition (PDF)

  • The CBTH Annual Sponsors Meeting will be held on Friday, September 27, 2019 at on the University of Houston main campus. Formal invitations will be sent out to sponsoring companies in the forthcoming weeks. For more information, including the tentative meeting schedule, click here. If you are interested in attending as a prospective sponsor, please contact us.

  • Congratulations to CBTH PhD student Marcus Zinecker, who received the Rising Star Award for 2018-2019 from the Houston Geological Society. For more information, click here to visit the HGS Bulletin website.

  • Congratulations to the UH IBA Team, who won first place in the Imperial Barrel Award Program (IBA) of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) International Competition on May 18! They previously won first place in the Gulf Coast Section competition on March 17. Click here for more information.

  • On Friday, April 26, the University of Houston hosted its annual “Student Research Day and Alumni-Industry Open House." A schedule of events and presentations, including CBTH presentations, is availble by clicking here.

  • The CBTH Project hosted a mid-year meeting for sponsors and prospective sponsors on March 22, 2019. Sponsoring companies can access the presentations from this meeting by clicking here.

  • Congrats to the three CBTH-supported students who placed first, second, and third at the Annual meeting of the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies that was held in Shreveport, Louisiana, in October, 2018. Omar Zavala (undergrad) was in first place with a poster comparing the cooling histories of the conjugate margins of the South Atlantic Ocean; Jack Kenning (PhD student) placed second for his poster on Eocene-Oligocene mass transport deposits in the Mexican Ridges province, western Gulf of Mexico; and Nawaz Bugti for his poster on structural restoration of the Corsair normal fault zone in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico.



  • The CBTH Project was featured in the latest issue 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). Current students working on various aspects of GOM conjugate margins include Jack Kenning (PhD), Nawaz Bugti (PhD), Mei Liu (PhD) and Marcus Zinecker (PhD). Click here to read the article in the latest issue.



  • Congrats to Jack Kenning for his first place poster award at the student poster session (Advanced PhD category) at the HGS-EAS, 20th Annual Robert E. Sheriff lecture for his presentation on the Mexican Ridges in the western Gulf of Mexico. Click here for more information.

  • Thanks to everyone who attended the CBTH Annual Sponsors Meeting on Friday, September 21, 2018! This year, we had a total of 57 attendees (34 from industry, 23 from UH/UiS). For more information, including a copy of the presentation schedule, click here.

  • Congrats to the three CBTH-supported students who placed first, second, and third at the 15th Annual Houston Geological Society/Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain Conference on African Exploraiton. The conference is held in Houston and London in alternating years. Marcus Zinecker was in first place with a poster comparing the conjugate margins of northwest Africa and the Blake-Bahama plateau; Omar Zavala placed second for his poster comparing the thermochronology of the South Atlantic Ocean; and Geraldine Tijerina placed third for her poster comparing the thermochronology of the conjugate margins of the Central Atlantic.

  • Karilys Castillo, who competed her MS in 2014 with the CBTH project, is presenting a talk at the meeting of the Colombia Geoscientists Network from 6-8 pm on Thursday, Sept 20, at the The Bougainvilleas. 12126 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77077. Since completing her MS at UH on eastern Venezuela, Karilys worked for three years as a geophysicist with the Anadarko Offshore Colombia team and is currently working with the Advanced Analytics and Technology team. The title of her talk is: Mass transport complexes (MTC) characterization, Sinu basin, offshore Colombia.

  • Paul Mann is part of the organization committee and will present at the AAPG Geoscience Technology Workshop entitled: Deep and ultra-deep petroleum systems: What we know and what we dont know to be held in Beijing, China, on October 26-28, 2018. The meeting will provide a forum for the discussion of all aspects of the new deep frontiers that include: deepwater exploration systems (turbidites, etc.), deepwater offshore discoveries (including all depositional systems), and deep and ultra-deep strata onshore. Click here for more information.

  • Paul Mann and other CBTH students and graduates presented at the AAPG Hedberg Conference on Geology of Middle America - The Gulf of Mexico, Yucatan, Caribbean, Grenada and Tobago basins, and their Margins - on July 2-5,2018 in Siguenza, Spain. The event was covened by Jorge Comet, CEPSA, Keith James, Consultant, and Jose Luis Granja Bruna, Univ. Madrid. For a list of CBTH presentations at the meeting, click here. For more information, click here.

  • Congrats to CBTH students Lucia Torrado and Andrew Steier for their leadership of the AAPG Wildcatters student group at UH that won the top AAPG student group award for the USA at the AAPG Salt Lake City meeting. Click here for more information.

  • Congrats to Jack Kenning for his fourth place poster award at the student poster session at the AAPG meeting in Salt Lake City for his presentation on the Mexican Ridges in the western Gulf of Mexico. Click here for more information.

  • Congrats to former CBTH student Kyle Reuber (PhD, 2017) for his AAPG Jules Braunstein Memorial best poster award for the 2017 Annual Meeting. Click here for more information.

  • Congrats to Paul Mann for the Robert H. Dott, Sr., Memorial best publication award shared with his co-editor, Claudio Bartolini (Repsol) for AAPG Memoir 108 on the petroleum geology of the Colombian margin. Click here for more information.

  • Congrats to Matt Copley for completing his MS at Colorado School of Mines and his new job at Anadarko. Matt worked with CBTH as an undergrad at UH for 2015-16.

  • Congratulations to first-year, CBTH PhD student Jack Kenning (right), who won the 1st Place Oral Presentation award (session 1) at the April 27, 2018, UH Student Research Day and to senior, CBTH, undergraduate student, Omar Zavala (left), who placed third in the undergraduate student poster competition. CBTH PhD students Lucia Torrado and Jack Kenning also received scholarships for Outstanding Graduate Work in Geology at the event.
  • Click here to see their titles and a list of all EAS presentations at Student Research Day.


  • For the second year in a row, the UiS program in Norway - led by Drs. Alejandro Escalona and Nestor Cardozo - was ranked number one in teaching quality at the University of Stavanger and was voted the best graduate program in Norway in a “student barometer survey”. Click here for more information.

  • Congrats to Claudio Bartolini and Paul Mann for winning the Robert H. Dott, Sr., Memorial Award for their jointly-edited publication, "Petroleum Geology and Potential of the Colombian Caribbean Margin" (Memoir 108) that was published in 2015. Their award will be presented at the AAPG ACE Conference opening ceremony on Sunday, May 20, 2018, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The volume contained the papers of several now graduated CBTH-UH students including Rocio Bernal (PhD, 2015), Javier Sanchez (PhD, 2015), Luis Carlos Carvajal (PhD, 2017), and Joan Blanco (PhD, 2017), and CBTH-UT Austin student (Henry Campos, MS, 2011).

Birthday celebration for Sharon Cornelius on July 19, 2019. The UH IBA Team wins first place in the Imperial Barrel Award Program (IBA) of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) International Competition on May 18. CBTH-supported PhD student Jack Kenning presenting his poster at the 2019 AAPG-ACE meeting in San Antonio, Texas, for which he won first place in the AAPG Student Poster Competition. Students, researchers, and sponsors at the CBTH AAPG 2019 luncheon PhD candidate Sean Romito presents at the Geological Society of London 2019 meeting PhD candidate Jack Kenning presents at the Geological Society of London 2019 meeting CBTH group visiting Hess in May 2019 CBTH group visiting Hess in May 2019 CBTH group visiting Hess in May 2019 CBTH group visiting Hess in May 2019 Bryan Moore receives second place undergraduate poster award for a study of Central Atlantic fracture zones at the April 2019 UH Student Research Conference. Sharon Cornelius presents her work on GOM overpressure at the April 2019 UH Student Research Conference. Amanda Pascali presents her work on oil seeps in the GOM at the April 2019 UH Student Research Conference. Marcus Zinecker presens on rifting in the SE GOM at the April 2019 UH Student Research Conference. Trevor Russell presents on asymmetrical spreading at the April 2019 UH Student Research Conference. Hualing Zhang presents her work on the Permian basin at the April 2019 UH Student Research Conference. Bryan Moore presents his work on Atlantic fracture zones at the April 2019 UH Student Research Conference. Lei Sun presents his work on tectonic geomorphology in Hispaniola at the April 2019 UH Student Research Conference. Nikola Bjelica presents his work on OAE2 organic deposition at the April 2019 UH Student Research Conference. Jack Kenning presents his work on the western GOM at the April 2019 UH Student Research Conference. Sean Romito presents his work on the Caribbean basement at the April 2019 UH Student Research Conference. Nawaz Bugti presents his work on salt structures in the NW GOM at the April 2019 UH Student Research Conference. Hualing Zhang presenting on the Permian basin at the one-day, UH workshop on Tectonics and Sedimentation (Thurs April 18). The wall screen is part of a newly refurbished conference room at EAS. Jack Kenning presenting on the western margin of the Gulf of Mexico at the one-day, UH workshop on Tectonics and Sedimentation (Thurs April 18). The wall screen is part of a newly refurbished conference room at EAS. CBTH PhD student Steve Leslie presents at the 2019 AAPG Meeting on Unlocking Mexico's Offshore Potential in Mexico City CBTH PhD student Jack Kenning presents at the 2019 AAPG Meeting on Unlocking Mexico's Offshore Potential in Mexico City CBTH Project Director Dr. Paul Mann presents at the 2019 AAPG Meeting on Unlocking Mexico's Offshore Potential in Mexico City CBTH post-doc Dr. Lei Sun presents at the 2018 AAPG Hedberg Meeting on basins and evolution of petroleum systems with Charles Sternbach 2018 GCAGS award winners: Jack Kenning to left (2nd), Omar Zavala in center (1st place, and Nawaz Bugti to right (3rd) CBTH undergraduate Nikola Bjelica presents at AGU 2018. CBTH students, staff, and guests at the 2018 CBTH Thanksgiving dinner. CBTH students, staff, and guests at the 2018 CBTH Thanksgiving dinner. Article from the HGS Bulletin on the 2018 Sheriff Lecture, where CBTH PhD student Jack Kenning won the Advanced PhD category From left to right: EAS department chair, Dr. Hua-wei Zhou; Sarah Meyer, the undergrad category winner, Crystal Saadeh, the MS and first year PhD category winner; Jack Kenning, the advanced PhD category winner; and Dr. Gary Mavko from Stanford University, the invited Sheriff lecturer speaker Geraldine Tijerina,  CBTH undergraduate student, presenting her work on a compilation of fission track ages from the conjugate margins of the central Atlantic Ocean to Dr. John Castagna at the student poster session at the 2018 Sheriff lecture, City Centre, Houston. Marcus Zinecker, CBTH PhD student, presenting his work on the NW Africa-eastern USA conjugate margin to a judge at the student poster session at the 2018 Sheriff lecture, City Centre, Houston. Jack Kenning, CBTH PhD student, presenting his work on the Mexican Ridges in the western GOM to a judge at the student poster session at the 2018 Sheriff lecture, City Centre, Houston. CBTH poster presenters at the conclusion of the 2018 Sheriff meeting, City Centre, Houston Mohammad Almatrood presents at UH Undergraduate Research Day 2018 Amanda Pascali presents at UH Undergraduate Research Day 2018 Nikola Bjelica presents at UH Undergraduate Research Day 2018 Trevor Russell presents at UH Undergraduate Research Day 2018 Marcus Zinecker presenting his GCAGS poster on structural restoration of faults in the SE GOM. Omar Zavala presents his GCAGS poster to a poster session judge on South Atlantic history from a compilation of fission track data. Nawaz Bugti presents his poster to AAPG President Denise Cox on the NW GOM at the GCAGS meeting. Jack Kenning presents his poster on the Mexican Ridges structure at the GCAGS meeting. Marcus Zinecker presents his poster on conjugate margin hydrocarbon prospectivity at the GCAGS meeting. Nawaz Bugti presents his talk at the GCAGS meeting on the NW GOM salt structures. CBTH students, staff, and sponsors attended the CBTH Year-End Meeting on September 21, 2018 at UH CBTH students who participated in 2018 Africa conference sponsored by the Houston Geological Society/Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain. Nikola Bjelica, CBTH undergraduate poster presenter, with AAPG President Charles Sternbach at the September, 2018, HGS-PESGB conference on African exploration, September 2018. CBTH students who participated in 2018 Africa conference sponsored by the Houston Geological Society/Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain. From left to right: Sean Romito (PhD), Nicola Bjelica (Undergrad), Malik Muihammed Alam (MS), Omar Zavala (Undergrad)), Geraldine Tijerina (Undergra), and Marcus Zinecker (PhD).  Not pictured is Marie Kouassi (PhD).  Marcus Zinecker (left) presenting his poster on NW Africa at the  September 2018, Africa conference sponsored by Houston Geological Society/Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain. Marie Kouassi presenting her poster on detrital zircon populations at the September 2018, Africa conference sponsored by Houston Geological Society/Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain. Nikola Bjelica presenting his poster on Cretaceous source rocks related to OAE2 at the September 2018, Africa conference sponsored by Houston Geological Society/Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain. CBTH students who participated in 2018 Africa conference sponsored by the Houston Geological Society/Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain. CBTH students Marcus Zinecker and Marie Kouassi prepare for the presentations at ExxonMobil on the SE GOM and detrital zircons related to Pangean breakup, respectively. CBTH MS student Marcus Zinecker presents his work on the SE GOM at ExxonMobil. Students and researchers with the CBTH Project present at Total in Houston Paul Mann giving a talk on the GOM to the GOM group at Total on May 31, 2018. PhD Student Jack Kenning wins the 4th place award in the student poster competition at AAPG 2018. Kyle Reuber and colleagues at ION Geophysical received the AAPG Best Poster award for the 2017 AAPG meeting. Paul Mann and Claudio Bartolini accept the Robert H. Dott, Sr., Memorial best publication award at AAPG 2018 UH received the Outstanding Student Chapter award at AAPG 2018 The Department of Petroleum Engineering of the University of Stavanger in Norway led by faculty advisor, Dr. Alejandro Escalona, placed second on March 20, 2018, in the regional Imperial Barrel Award (IBA) competition in the the European section of AAPG. This is the toughest AAPG regional division because of its large size with 20+ teams that include many top geosciences programs.

CBTH Proposal and Product Information

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

The CBTH proposed study area 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 equatorial, conjugate margins of Guyana, Suriname, French Guyana, Brazil along with countries in western and eastern Africa.

CBTH Study Area (revised September 2018)

click map to enlarge

The CBTH study area. Numbers correspond to Phase IV,Year 1 student study areas: 1) Nawaz Bugti, PhD, UH 2) Lei Sun, Post-Doctoral Researcher, UH 3) Sharon Cornelius, Post-Doctoral Researcher, UH 4) Steven Leslie, PhD, UH 5) Jack Kenning, PhD, UH 6) Lucia Torrado, PhD, UH 7) Marie Kouassi, PhD, UH 8) Hualing Zhang, PhD, UH 9) Sean Romito, PhD, UH 10) Marcus Zinecker, PhD, UH 11) Mei Liu, PhD, UH 12) Geraldine Tijerina, BS, UH 13) Omar Zavala, BS, UH 14) Malik Muhammad Alam, MS, UH 15) Amanda Pascali, BS, UH 16) Trevor Russell, PhD, UH 17) Fernando Mazuera, PhD, UiS 18) Guro Skarstein, MS, UiS 19) Andres Cedeño, PhD, UiS


Caribbean Basins, Tectonics, &
		Hydrocarbons: Phase IV Logo

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 (shown in upper inset of map of the study area below). 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 the Central in eastern North America and western Europe, and the South Atlantic 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

The CBTH Project was the subject of an article in the October 2012 issue of AAPG Explorer. 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.

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 featured in the latest issue 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 Calendar of Events


Current Events in the CBTH Study Area



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:


Affiliations:

University of Houston Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
University of Stavanger Department of Petroleum Engineering


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