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Abstract: Evolution and Hydrocarbon Prospectivity of the Douala Basin, Cameroon

Marcel Batupe, Simon Tamfu, Richard Seme Abomo, Martin Folo

The Douala basin is a stable Atlantic-type, predominantly offshore basin and forms the northern terminal of a series of divergent passive margin basins located on the Southwest coast of Africa that resulted from the rifting of Africa from South America. An integration of new studies including detailed well, biostratigraphic, sedimentological, geochemical and seismic data has confirmed that the tectonostratigraphic evolution in the basin can be broadly divided into three developmental phases: the Syn-rift, Transitional and Drift phases.

This basin has been explored intermittently for hydrocarbon for the past 40 years with two important gas fields discovered and no commercial oil found as yet. This early gas discovery and a corresponding lack of any significant oil discovery, led early operators to term this basin as essentially a gas province. However, recent geochemical analyses of various oil-seeps and oil samples from various localities in the basin, using state-of-the-art techniques have demonstrated that this basin is a potential oil prone basin. The results show that two model of oil sourcing are possible: a Lower Cretaceous lacustrine saline source, similar to the pre-salt basins of Gabon or a marine Upper Cretaceous to lower Tertiary source, similar to the neighbouring Rio del Rey/Niger Delta Complex.

Additionally, seismic reflection data also demonstrate a variety of reservoir horizons, including submarine fans, channel-like features and buried paleohighs, all interbedded within regionally extensive, unconformity bounded mudstone units. Hence, it is now quite evident that within this basin, there exist a vast potential for a wide variety of stratigraphic, structural and combined traps.

These features, which are considered to have significantly enhanced the prospectivity of this basin, will be discussed in this paper.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90956©1995 AAPG International Convention and Exposition Meeting, Nice, France