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Regional Interpretation and Distribution of Deep Water Reservoirs in East Africa: A Predictive Tool for Identifying Potential Stratigraphic Traps

Brian W. Horn
Ph.D., Director of Geology, Chief Geologist, ION


In frontier and sparsely drilled areas with limited biostratigraphic control, it is often difficult to calibrate new discoveries into a regional stratigraphic framework across an entire basin margin. Regional mapping of time correlative stratigraphic surfaces is essential to understanding the broader depositional and tectonic-stratigraphic framework and how it is related to reservoir presence. Establishing the correlation and type of architecture of deep water reservoir systems through detailed mapping of discrete stratigraphic intervals (stratal packages) provides a higher-resolution framework to understand the distribution and presence of reservoir-prone intervals in addition to predicting reservoir architectural elements.

Detailed mapping of the deep water systems in offshore Tanzania and Mozambique highlight the extent of various architectural elements and seismic reservoir facies observed on regional 2D seismic data. The ability to place depositional elements into a time-stratigraphic framework (Wheeler diagram) enables the spatial and temporal prediction of reservoir distribution and an understanding of potential stratigraphic trapping configurations across a basin. Using these techniques, it is possible to correlate and identify areas and intervals with stratigraphic trapping geometries.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90204 © AAPG Geoscience Technology Workshop, Stratigraphic Traps and Play Concepts in Deepwater Settings, May 14-15, 2014, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil