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Oil Exploration Offshore Angola: Past, Present, and Future

Alastair Fraser
Imperial College, London, UK
[email protected]


Offshore Angola has to date delivered recoverable reserves in excess of 20 billion barrels of oil equivalent. This has been encountered in two distinct Previous HitplayNext Hit systems: the Upper Cretaceous Pinda carbonates sourced by Lower Creatceous lacustrine mudstones and Tertiary deepwater slope turbidite sands sourced by underlying Upper Cretaceous marine mudstones. Initial discoveries were made in the Pinda carbonates in shallow water offshore Cabinda during the 1980s. A move into deepwater in the mid 1990s to explore a possible extension of the Previous HitplayNext Hit in a more distal setting, instead resulted in the discovery of the Tertiary turbidite Previous HitplayNext Hit most notably in Block 17 at Girassol. An extension of the Girassol Previous HitplayNext Hit into Block 18 to the south will be used to describe how high quality 3D seismic data coupled with a detailed Previous HitanalysisNext Hit of rock properties led to an unprecedented 6 successes out of 6 wells in the block, including the giant Plutonio discovery. The shallow Tertiary Previous HitplayNext Hit having been largely explored, industry is turning once more to the carbonate Previous HitplayNext Hit potential – this time in deepwater. The equivalent pre-salt carbonate Previous HitplayTop that has been so prolific in the Santos Basin of offshore Brazil on the conjugate margin is a key target with a recent significant discovery announced by Cobalt Energy at Cameia in Block 21. Given this and renewed interest in the post salt Pinda, it would seem that the Angola offshore success story is set to continue for some time to come.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90198 © 2014 AAPG Foundation Distinguished Lecture Series 2013-2014