East African Exploration - where are the big fields hiding?

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Video Presentation


The East African Rift System - The Contribution of Earth Observation Data to Hydrocarbon Exploration

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Michael Hall
Airbus Defence and Space


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Talk Description
Michael Hall - Astrium GEO-Information Services

East Africa, overlooked in terms of its hydrocarbon potential for many years, is currently experiencing a surge in interest with recent discoveries in the Albertine Rift and offshore. This presentation summarises the results of a geological interpretation study of the East African Rift System (EARS) based on Earth Observation (EO) data, incorporating both a structural and stratigraphic interpretation together with the identification of lake and offshore oil seeps. The study represents a unique and consistent interpretation over the entire EARS at a regional scale to aid exploration for energy resources, covering an area of approximately four and a half million square kilometres.

The EARS is an elongate system of extensional faults, stretching over 5000km in a general N-S direction from the triple plate junction of the Afar Triangle in Ethiopia to the Inhambane region in Mozambique. Dominated by extensional faulting, the area is characterised by two main rifting trends, defined as the Eastern and Western Branches, with several phases of superimposed rifting having occurred. Included in the study is an extract from Astrium’s global oil seeps database, which includes oil slicks derived from natural lake bed oil seeps of the EARS and from the sea bed of surrounding offshore areas, identified using Radar Imagery. The offshore areas include the Gulf of Aden, Seychelles, Madagascar, Somalia, Tanzania, Mozambique and Kenya, with over 800 radar scenes assessed.

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East Africa Exploration: Hints from Remote Sensing and Potential Fields data from Continental to Prospect scale
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