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Book Chapter

Hydrocarbon Prospectivity in Mesozoic and Early–Middle Cenozoic Rift Basins of Central and Northern Kenya, Eastern Africa

By
Jean-Jacques Tiercelin
Jean-Jacques Tiercelin
UMR 6118 CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) Géosciences Rennes, Université de Rennes 1, Campus de Beaulieu, Bât. 15, 35042 Rennes Cedex, France (e-mails: jean-jacques.tiercelin@univ-rennes1.fr, thierry.nalpas@univ-rennes1.fr)
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Thierry Nalpas
Thierry Nalpas
UMR 6118 CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) Géosciences Rennes, Université de Rennes 1, Campus de Beaulieu, Bât. 15, 35042 Rennes Cedex, France (e-mails: jean-jacques.tiercelin@univ-rennes1.fr, thierry.nalpas@univ-rennes1.fr)
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Peter Thuo
Peter Thuo
National Oil Corporation of Kenya, Aon Minet Building, Mamlaka Rd., Off Nyerere Rd., PO Box 58567-00200 Nairobi, Kenya (e-mail: pthuo@erhc.com)
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Jean-Luc Potdevin
Jean-Luc Potdevin
Université de Lille 1, Sciences et Technologies, UFR des Sciences de la Terre, UMR 8157 CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) Géosystèmes, 59655 Villeneuve d’Ascq Cedex, France (e-mail: jean-luc.potdevin@univ-lille1.fr)
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Published:
January 01, 2013

Abstract

The northern (NKR) and central (CKR) segments of the Kenya Rift are among the most important areas of the East African rift system for hydrocarbon prospecting because they offer the oldest and longest lived sedimentary basins and they are a crossover area between Ce-nozoic and Cretaceous rifts. During the 1970s and 1980s, the interest of oil companies focused in the Turkana depression and the northeastern region of Kenya. Seismic reflection surveys and several exploration wells enabled the identification of several deeply buried basins: (1) In the NKR, three strings of north–south-oriented half grabens, the oldest known basins being of Cretaceous?–Paleogene to middle Miocene age; (2) In the CKR, two north–south half grabens, the Baringo-Bogoria Basin (Paleogene–Present), and the Kerio Basin (Paleogene–upper Miocene). All basins are filled by up to 8 km (5 mi) thick sediments of alluvial, fluviodeltaic, or lacustrine origin and volcanics of late Eocene to Neogene age.

New studies have focused on reservoir and/or source rock quality in several of these basins. In terms of hydrocarbon potential, arkosic sand stones in CKR or NKR demonstrate a fair to good reservoir quality, with porosity up to 25%. Strong changes in terms of diagenetic alteration relate to deformation events or change in sediment source as a result of tectonic activity and hydrothermal fluid circulation associated with volcanism. High-quality source rocks were deposited in freshwater lake environments under a tropical climate. Such environments have been identified during the Paleogene in the NKR and lower Neogene in the CKR. The combination of reservoir and source rock characteristics results in a provisional classification of each studied basin, in terms of very high to medium potential for hydrocarbons.

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Contents

AAPG Memoir

Tectonics and Sedimentation: Implications for Petroleum Systems

Dengliang Gao
Dengliang Gao
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Volume
100
ISBN electronic:
9781629810010
Publication date:
January 01, 2013

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