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A Review of the Structural Styles within the Deep-Water Western Niger Delta

Matthew, Olabode S.1
1 Exploration, Korea National Oil Corporation, Nigeria Office, Lagos, Nigeria.

Structural features resulting from shale diapirism, updip sediment loading and detachment related toe thrusting frequently occur throughout the Niger Delta. These features can be embodied in various forms that sometimes poses challenges in identifying them. Differentiating between these styles of structural features is essential for attaining success in prospect evaluation and petroleum exploration.

A Geological and Geophysical interpretation project was carried out on two deepwater Western Niger Delta acreages. Water depth within the study area range from 850m in the East to 2700m in the extreme West. Several oceanic fracture zones have been identified that cuts through the deepwater gulf of Guinea. Of these, the chain fracture zone cuts through the Niger Delta just below the study area based on regional structural models. However, structural interpretation of 3D seismic data within the study area revealed the presence of a fracture zone characterized by a transform fault which has been named the Benin fracture zone for the purpose of this study

This paper uses a case study from deepwater Western Niger Delta. The main objectives of the study were to identify the dominant structural features present within the study area and to compare our results with previous information available in published data. The project employed the use of speculative 3D seismic data. Results obtained from seismic interpretation and structural reconstruction project were also incorporated to clarify the true and prevailing structural regime.

Using these integrated methodologies, we attempt to dissuade interpreters from forcing regional geologic models on local geology without making in-depth research and interpretation of localised geological and geophysical data. We also present the prevailing structural style within the extreme of the deepwater Western Niger Delta.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90090©2009 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Denver, Colorado, June 7-10, 2009