Upper Magdalena Valley

Petroleum geology

Hydrocarbon Evidences

In Upper Magdalena Valley Basin there are 38 productive oilfields, as well as numerous oil seeps.

Source rock

Two global anoxic events in middle Albian and Turonian are responsible for the deposition of shales and limestones with a high organic matter content in the Tetuán, Bambucá and La Luna formations (Figure 2). Predominant kerogen is of type II, with vitrinite reflectance (Ro) between 0.5 and 1.35. The maximum temperature reached is of 450 °C and TOC> 5%.


Migration began immediately after the compressive events occurred during the late Cretaceous. Throughout the basin have been documented horizontal and vertical migration pathways. The main hydrocarbon pathways are the Caballos Formation sandstones and, at a smaller scale, the Monserrate Formation sandstones.

Rock Reservoir

Three major sandstone units are distributed in the basin: Cretaceous Caballos and Monserrate formations and Miocene Honda Group. Besides; there are also fractured limestones with high potential as reservoirs. The Tetuán Formation sandy facies, which currently produce oil, constitute a new exploration target.

Seal Rock

The top and lateral seals are thick plastic mudstones present in the Bambucá and Guaduala formations and in the Honda Group.


Among the traps found in the basin are: fault-bend folds, faulted anticlines, sub-thrust and sub-basement closures, imbricate fans, back thrusts and wrench related anticlines which are distributed throughout the basin (Figure 3). Additionally, there is an unexplored potential related to different stratigraphic type traps.

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