African Sedimentary Basins--Tectonic Controls on Prospectivity
BUNTER, M. A. G., R. CROSSLEY, M. HAMMILL, P. W. JONES, R. K. MORGAN, D. T. NEEDHAM, and F. A. SPAARGAREN, Robertson Group plc, Gwynedd, U. K.
An important prerequisite for the evaluation of any sedimentary basin is the understanding of its regional tectonic setting. This is especially so in the underexplored regions of Africa. The majority of African sedimentary basins developed in an extensional setting although some have undergone subsequent compressional or transpressional deformation. The geometry and evolution of these basins is often influenced by basement structure. The extensional phase of basin development controls not only the distribution of syn-rift sediments but also the magnitude of post-rift regional subsidence and the preservation or removal of pre-rift sediments. This has important consequences for exploration models of syn-rift and pre-rift source rocks and reservoirs. Post-rift basin inversion and uplift rovide crucial controls on the preservation of mature source rocks and quality of reservoirs. The distribution, nature, timing, and possible mechanisms of this uplift in Africa will be addressed. The hydrocarbon prospectivity
of African basins appears to be highly variable although the limited exploration of some regions makes the exact extent of this variability unclear. Basins considered potentially prospective range from late Precambrian to Tertiary in age. The various tectonic controls outlined above, and criteria for the evaluation of underexplored areas, will be demonstrated by reference to basins studied by The Robertson Group. Examples described include basins from Gabon, Angola, Namibia, East Africa, Tertiary Rift and Karoo Rifts, and North Africa (Sudan, Egypt, Algeria, and Morocco).
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91004 © 1991 AAPG Annual Convention Dallas, Texas, April 7-10, 1991 (2009)