Context, Challenges, and Future of Deep-Water Plays: An Overview
Repsol Services USA
The most classical or current deepwater plays which are presently explored worldwide are Pre-Salt, Sub-Salt, Fold belts and Stratigraphic pinch outs. Presalt exploration is booming along Offshore Brazil, particularly in the Santos Basin and in the Levantine Basin in the eastern Mediterranean area, and exploration activities are also in-creasing in Angola, Gabon, and Namibia in West Africa. Exploration in deepwater fold belts is very active in the Niger Delta, and also booming in offshore Mozambique. The Stratigraphic pinch out play has been recently developed mainly offshore Ghana, with the Jubilee discovery, and subsequent exploration in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
We classify deepwater plays according to their tectonic setting as follows: 1) Extensional Passive margin with Rift, 2) Post-Rift and strike-slip basins and Active Margin, 3) Orogenic, which are subdivided into: a) Accretionary Wedges and b) Retro Foreland Fold-and-Thrust Belts and Back Arc Basins.
The critical challenges while exploring deepwater plays is the presence of both, source rocks, and carbonate and/or siliclastic potential reservoirs. Future deepwater plays will probably include volcanic rocks, SDR related traps, ultra-deep carbonates, and extremely deep sandstone turbidite systems.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90200 © AAPG Geoscience Technology Workshop, Fifth Annual AAPG-SPE Deepwater Reservoir, January 28-29, 2014, Houston, Texas