Abstract

Sedimentary basins can be classified according to their structural genesis and evolutionary history and comprise tectonic and sedimentary cycles and stages, to which common elements of petroleum systems and plays may be linked. We describe a new method that allows easier and more efficient comparisons between petroliferous sedimentary basins with similar geologic characteristics. Using this method, we can make predictions of potential petroleum systems and plays occurring in underexplored basins or regions. In this article, the methodology is applied to the well-explored Gabon coastal basin (west African margin) and the conjugate Almada-Camamu Basin (Brazilian margin), which is a frontier basin. The two basins experienced a similar tectonostratigraphic evolution and share many similarities. We propose that petroleum systems and plays identified in the Gabon coastal basin might potentially also be present in the Almada-Camamu Basin. These could include a second lacustrine synrift petroleum system, as well as a fluviomarine transitional petroleum system. Potential, but not yet proven, reservoirs in the Almada-Camamu Basin include coarse sandstones surrounding basement highs within the synrift, synrift lacustrine carbonates, fluviomarine sandstones at the base of the transitional cycle, and early postrift ramp carbonates. The methodology and newly developed figures are particularly useful to obtain a first impression of the tectonostratigraphy, likely petroleum system and play development, and exploration history of potentially analogous basins. Furthermore, the approach allows for the recognition of important differences, raising questions that can be answered by more direct techniques.

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