--> Moroccan Atlantic Margin: Petroleum systems and Play types

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Moroccan Atlantic Margin: Petroleum systems and Play types


The Moroccan Atlantic Margin underwent several tectonic events: The hercynian orogeny from Upper Devonian to late Carboniferous, the Triassic to Lower Lias Central Atlantic rift event, the passive margin from Upper Lias to Upper Cretaceous, the salt tectonic which is the most prominent character of the large salt province in the northern part of Morocco, the syn-sedimentary slope tectonic and the most recent event; the Alpine Orogeny from Upper Cretaceous to recent, due to the collision between the African and European plates.

These major events have contributed to the development of various working petroleum systems from Paleozoic into Cenozoic, proven through hydrocarbon occurrences (discoveries, shows and surface oil seeps). In the offshore, the previous exploration efforts have led to the discovery of small but still noteworthy heavy and light oil accumulations and numerous oil and/or gas shows in the most of the offshore wells drilled so far.

These petroleum systems are of different ages, the most well documented SR/RR pairs are: Cenomano-Turonian / Oligocene-Miocene, Toarcian-Oxfordian / Valanginian-Barremian, Lower Oxfordian / Callovo-Oxfordian, Silurian / Triassic, Silurian / Ordovician-Devonian.

Numerous exploration plays associated with the previously mentioned SR/RR pairs have been identified in the main tectonic provinces of the Moroccan Atlantic Margin. The main targets for these plays are: the Mio-Pliocene turbidite channel sandstones, the Barremian and Valanginian amalgamated channels, the Domerian oolitic limestone and the Bajocian Sandstone, the Triassic sandstone, the Middle Devonian limestone and the Cambrian Ordovician Sandstone.

The few play types tested so far by drilling have confirmed the presence of working petroleum systems. However, there is more hydrocarbon potential which deserves to be assessed using the best tools.