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Abstract: The Petroleum Geology of the Niger Delta: Present Pledge and Future Challenges

Daniel M. Trumpy

During the decades in which Shell has been operating in the Niger Delta, the group has continuously introduced new technologies into the exploration and development of hydrocarbon resources. A significant acceleration of this move in the late 1980's resulted in a wealth of new information becoming available on the petroleum geology of an already mature oil province.

The blanket 3D seismic coverage, initiated in 1989 over the most prospective parts of the acreage, has yielded rich benefits in terms of reserve additions in producing fields, optimization of appraisal and development well positioning and reduction of trap uncertainty.

Geophysical special studies carried out on the 3D seismic data cube have allowed to map fluid contents and contacts, locally down to a depth of some 3,000 metres. In conjunction with sequence-stratigraphic analysis, these studies have also allowed to obtain a firmer grip on the lithology distribution and thus on the geometry of individual reservoir bodies.

These studies are being supported by hydrocarbon charge modelling which is based on geochemical parameters gained from the assumed main source rock interval.

At present, exploration activities in the onshore Niger Delta are reduced, and the full benefits of this technological pulse have yet to be harvested on an exploration scale. This leaves some time to fully exploit the new technologies, tackle the remaining challenges and optimize the future exploration drilling sequence.

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