Ethiopian Red Sea Petroleum Geology and Regional Geophysical Evaluation
ASSEFA, A., K. TADESSE, T. WORKU, and E. G. TSADIK, Ethiopian Institute of Geological Surveys, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The World Bank-executed Red Sea/Gulf of Aden Regional Hydrocarbon Study Project was organized to synthesize data on the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden basins. The primary objectives were to encourage increased hydrocarbon exploration activity within the project area by applying recent exploration techniques basin wide, and to train national geoscientists in exploration techniques. The study was carried out by task forces for each participating country, working in Cairo under the supervision of World Bank technical personnel. In addition, biostratigraphic, paleoenvironmental, and lithostratigraphic
analyses by Robertson Group and geochemical studies by BEICIP were carried out on well cuttings and core samples.
The study of the Ethiopian Red Sea and Gulf of Aden was based on public-domain exploration data, published information, and data released by operating companies. These included reports, sections and wire line logs from eight wells, samples from seven wells for biostratigraphic analysis, and samples from five wells for geochemical analysis. Interpretation was carried out on 6600 line-km of seismic data selected from a grid of 29,710 line-km. Four horizons were identified on a regional basis, including the sea floor, top, and near base of Middle to Upper Miocene evaporites, and approximate acoustic basement. A bathymetric map, three structure-contour maps, and three interval isopach maps were prepared using digitized picks from the interpreted seismic. Examples of each of these interpre results will be on display.
The results show that the Ethiopian Red Sea is similar to the better known productive Gulf of Suez in some respects, including the overall tectonic evolution and the Miocene to Holocene stratigraphic sequence. Nevertheless, significant differences result from the location of the Ethiopian Red Sea in the transition zone to the Afar area. An important difference is the development of two major en echelon trends of rifting separated by a block with limited extension in the Danakil Alps. The resulting variations in sedimentary sequence, structural style, and geothermal gradient suggest that a favorable petroleum potential may be present locally in both pre-evaporite and post-evaporite objectives.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91007© 1991 AAPG International Conference, London, England, September 29-October 2, 1991 (2009)