Deepwater turbidites offshore Namibia shown to provide high-quality reservoir sands
April 19, 2017

Spectrum geoscientists, discuss the hunt for a proof of trap (an up-dip bypass zone for the deposition of sediment or fault bounded) and the spectacular prize at the end, Namibian oil. First published in Offshore Magazine, April 2017.

When explorers approach a new basin the first petroleum system aspect to evaluate for hydrocarbon potential is the presence and maturity of source rock. It is the key risk element that screens 9 out of 10 duff basins, so it is the place to start. Exploration wells operated by HRT during 2012 and 2013 offshore Namibia have significantly reduced the uncertainty on distribution of oil mature Aptian source risk in the Walvis Basin (Wingat-1 (2212/07-1) and Murombe-1 (2212/06-1). Both wells encountered thick (ca 200 m) Aptian source rock above the Breakup Unconformity (BUU) and the Wingat well not only penetrated the Aptian source rock, but it also recovered light oil 38 o to 42o API in several thin sandy lenses within the Aptian interval. This is a very significant data point; this is the first oil recovered from the Aptian in the deep water and proves the efficiency of this as an oil source. This Aptian restricted marine source rock has also been encountered in a number of wells penetrated further south of the Walvis Basin along the South Africa and Namibia margin including the DSDP 361, and South African and Kudu wells.


The above extrapolates the Aptian source rock out across the South Walvis basin from the well penetrations using a surface mapped on Spectrum 2D seismic data. The Aptian source rock is ubiquitously distributed over the deep water Walvis Basin although we see some variation in thickness as we mapped two main depocentres divided by a NW-SE trending Outer High basement ridge…

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