Geodynamic Evolution and Petroleum Geology of the Taoudenni Basin
The Taoudenni Basin is one of the last frontier areas in northwest Africa and its petroleum potential, although very promising, is still uncertain. This basin represents the largest Proterozoic and Palaeozoic intra-cratonic sedimentary basin of Africa with a surface of more than 1.5 million sq km. It covers a large part of the West African Craton. The sedimentary pile is 2 to 3 km thick on average and may reach 8 km in some depocentres. These rocks are largely exposed on the margins of the basin, but are buried in the center under thin Mesozoic - Cenozoic sedimentary sequences.
In the last few years there has been an increasing interest in the petroleum potential of the Taoudenni Basin as proven by the presence of many major operators recently exploring this basin. The main hydrocarbon source potential within the Taoudenni Basin is the Neoproterozoic Atar Group (Touirist and Aguelt El Mabha Formations) which contain black shale horizons with TOC value of up to 22 % in some locations; and the Silurian black shales (Oued Chig / Toba El Hamar Groups) considered to be the lateral equivalents of the prolific Tanezzuft (or Tanezruft) black shales of Algeria and Libya.
We present here some results from a comprehensive study of the Taoudenni Basin which is based on many years of field work and laboratory analyses. We will focus on the geodynamic development of the West African Craton and the distribution of the Precambrian and Palaeozoic source rocks and reservoirs within the Taoudenni Basin and its surrounding areas.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90090©2009 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Denver, Colorado, June 7-10, 2009