A geological/geoscience overview of the hydrocarbon exploration potential of Belize, Central America

Julie Ann Aitken, Robert R. Stewart

A review of the exploration history of Belize has led to the recognition of its possible untapped potential. Since the onset of oil exploration in Belize began in 1938, a total of only forty-seven wells have been drilled on the mainland and offshore. Well results indicate the presence of oil reservoir but as yet in sub-commercial quantities. Commercial quantities of oil, however, have been discovered within the stratigraphically equivalent Peten basin in the neighbouring countries of Mexico and Guatemala. Northern Belize is considered to be one of the most prospective areas of Belize. Thirty wells have been drilled in northern Belize, most recently in the early 1990's. A number of undrilled anomalous structures and possible play types have been identified. With the onset of new technologies, a more in-depth look at the prospectivity of Belize, particularly northern Belize, may be warranted.