The Great Central Congo Basin: From Overlooked Giant Hydrocarbon Province in Africa
Marcio R. Mello, Nilo C. Azambuja Filho, Mauro B. Araujo, Maria G. Vicentelli, Andre A. Bender, Eduardo de Mio, Sergio Contreras, and Nelio G. Maia
HRT Petroleum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The petroleum exploration in the Central Africa realm and especially in the Great Central Congo Basin, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been overlooked in the last 30 years due to several problems ranging from inaccessable jungle areas, political instability, and mainly to the oil boom in the West African offshore basins.
This paper, based in an integrated multidisciplinary approach and using technologies ranging from remote sensing, surface and molecular geochemistry, seismic and magnetometric interpretation to 3D compositional petroleum system modeling, suggests the presence in the Central Congo Basin of one of the most promising frontier areas for exploration regarding light oil/ condensate and gas province in the onshore basins of Central Africa.
High resolution geochemistry and diamondoid analysis of oil seeps, recovered in the basin, suggest that the origin of the petroleum is related to a mixture of oils from at least two distinct Petroleum Systems: a highly cracked very mature oil (which constitutes more than 80% of the oil seeps) probably derived from Proterozoic or Paleozoic marine anoxic source rock; and a black oil, in the oil window stage, probably sourced from a Mesozoic marine carbonate source rock.
The tectonic-sedimentary evolution of Central Congo Basin share similar source and reservoir behaviours, in the Proterozoic and Paleozoic sequences, with the Parecis, São Francisco and Paraná Basins onshore Brazil. By contrast, from the Jurassic upwards, the elements of the petroleum system are similar when compared with the Brazilian Marginal Basins. Such features together with the presence of multiple and superimposed active petroleum systems contribute to reduce the exploration risk in the greater Central Congo Basin.
AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Cape Town, South Africa 2008 © AAPG Search and Discovery