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Niger Delta Play Characterization


Steele, David1, Joe Ejedawe2 (1) Shell Houston, Houston, TX (2) SIEP Rijswijk, Rijswijk, Netherlands


The Niger Delta is divisible into 2 major petroleum mega-plays – a relatively mature onshore/shallow Offshore Shelf play and an immature Deepwater Turbidite play. The shelf play is divisible into 5 structural plays (Northern Delta, Greater Ughelli, Central Swamp, Coastal Swamp, and Shallow Offshore), while the Deepwater mega-play is divisible into 8 major structural plays (eastern and western Minibasins, eastern and western Fold belts, eastern and western thrust belts, and the relatively unstructured Transform margin).

The shelf play has been very successful with over 60 BOE discovered. Structural types vary from simple/faulted rollover structures in the Northern delta, Greater Ughelli and Central Swamp depobelts, to collapsed crest, shale diapirs, and K-type structures in the Coastal Swamp and Shallow Offshore depobelts.

In the deepwater about 11BOE has been discovered to date. Small diapir flank and fault traps dominate the minibasin play. The fold plays are characterized by a small number of large simple traps resulting in rapid creaming. The trust play can be divided into an inner (west only) and outer zone. The outer zone comprises toe of slope compressional plays related to updip extension. The inner zone is probably a reactivated older system and is very complex, making it a challenging technical play.