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Tadesse, K.1, A. Hunegnaw2, G. R. Keller1 
(1) University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), El Paso, TX 
(2) Ministry of Mines, Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 

ABSTRACT: An Overview of Ethiopian Sedimentary Basins and Their Petroelum Potential

Although Afar and the Main Ethiopian rift (MER) and their volcanic activity have been the focus of much scientific interest, almost two thirds of Ethiopia is covered with sedimentary rocks. The sedimentary basins of Ethiopia can be classified into five distinct areas. These are: the Ogaden basin, the Gambela basin, the Abbay basin, the Mekele outlier and Omo - Chewbahir basins. Most of these basins appear to be the result of extension processes. However we have much to learn about all of them. In this review we discuss, a brief geology of each basin with its tectonic history. We will highlight, the prospectivity of each basin with known and possible structural and stratigraphic traps. 
Prospecting for oil and gas has been going on in Ethiopia, since the 1950s. As a result of past exploration efforts gas and gas condensate have been discovered in two areas within the Ogaden basin. In addition oil inflows and shows have been reported to exist in some of the exploratory wells in the Ogaden basin. Oil seeps exist in the Ogaden and Abbay basins. Oil shale and coal deposits have been discovered north of the Southern Ethiopian rift basin. Clastic as well as marine sediments that are possible sources, reservoirs and seal rocks with known and possible traps are abundant. With the data currently available, several prospects and leads have been identified.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90026©2004 AAPG Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas, April 18-21, 2004.