--> Abstract: Stratigraphy and Petroleum Prospects of Northern Somalia, #90907 (2000)

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ABSTRACT: Stratigraphy and Petroleum Prospects of Northern Somalia

SALAD HERSI, O., Quebec Geoscience Center, Ste-Foy, QC, Canada; and HILOWLE MOHAMED, A., Department of Earth Sciences, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, Canada

The sedimentary cover of Northern Somalia includes post-Triassic continental and marine strata which accumulated in basins related to the disintegration of the Gondwanaland. Among these, the Berbera and Ahl Mado basins are the most important basins stratigraphically and hydrocarbon potential. Sedimentation in both basins begins with a Jurassic continental sandstone (Adigrat Formation) overlain by interbedded units of shallow marine limestones and shales (Bihendula sequence) in the Berbera Basin, and limestone-dominated strata with minor shale and sandstone interbeds (Ahl Mado Group) in the Ahl Mado Basin. The Cretaceous section, unconformable with the Jurassic sequence, is mainly continental (Yesomma Sandstone) in the Berbera Basin, but becomes shallow-marine, sandy to pure limestone with subordinate sandstone and shale (Tisje Formation) in the Ahl Mado Basin. By the end of the Cretaceous Period, a westward marine transgression permitted shallow-marine, Paleocene - lower Eocene limestone (Auradu Formation) deposition throughout northern Somalia. This is succeeded by thick anhydrite strata (Taleh Formation) overlain by Middle to Late Eocene shallow-marine limestone (Karkar Formation). The later is the youngest stratigraphic unit straddling the Gulf of Aden. Younger strata of syn- and post-rifting, continental to shallow-marine origin are confined in discrete basins along the coast of the gulf.

Based on published and unpublished data, the geology of these basins proves that oil and gas have been generated with favorable reservoirs, as well as structural and stratigraphic traps. Moreover, continuation of these basins across the gulf, matching the hydrocarbon-producing Marib-Hajar and Say'un-Al Masila basins of Yemen, raises the hydrocarbon prospect of northern Somalia.


Search and Discovery Article #90907©2000 AAPG Eastern Section Meeting, London, Ontario, Canada