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The Re-emergence of the Central Abidjan Basin, Offshore Cote D'Ivoire as an Exploration Hotspot - New Insights from 3d Structural Modelling


David Dutton1, Bruce Trudgill1, Justin Morrison2, Victor Boblai3

(1) Imperial College, London, United Kingdom (2) CNR UK International Ltd, Guildford, United Kingdom (3) PETROCI Exploration and Production, Abidjan, Ivory Coast

 The C™te d’Ivoire represents an unfinished story of hydrocarbon exploration and academic research following renewed industry interest in this emerging hotspot. Numerous papers have been made on both the North and South Atlantic tectonics, where as the Central Atlantic has had little work to date. The present study has utilised three 3-D seismic data sets in the Central Abidjan Basin that cover the Espoir Field re-development (93 mmbo and 200 bcf of gas remaining recoverable reserves) and the Baobab-1X oil discovery (in excess of 150mmbo recoverable) and other exploration targets.

A 3-D structural model has been built that allows interrogation of the geometrical and kinematical coherence of a WNW - ESE trending fault system that resulted in the generation of a tilted fault block framework during the Apto-Albian. 3-D fault displacement analysis coupled with 3-D structural restorations suggest that the genesis and evolution of the fault array through time may have exerted a fundamental control on the distribution and dispersal of reservoir quality Upper Albian marine sands. The development and subsequent breaching of soft-linked relay ramps lead to the generation and removal of clastic sediment entry points into the basin through time.

It is therefore important that we understand both the regional tectonic regime and the detailed breaching of relay ramps for continued exploration success in the C™te d’Ivoire.