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Abstract

Early Cretaceous rifting of the South Atlantic basin resulted in the development of three unconformity-bound tectono-stratigraphic megasequences that are recognizable in petroliferous basins along the present-day margins of both Brazil and west Africa. These megasequences have been termed nonmarine/synrift, transitional marine, and marine. These megasequences provide a framework for understanding the character and distribution of hydrocarbon reservoirs within the South Atlantic petroleum systems. Hydrocarbons occur in nonmarine and marine stratal packages in both carbonates and siliciclastics. Reservoirs in the marine megasequences contain an estimated 70% of the region's known oil reserves, most of which have been discovered in the last two decades in deep-water fields.

Each reservoir system requires a comprehensive evaluation of depositional systems and diagenetic modification. Deep-water siliciclastic reservoirs are controlled by sediment provenance and transport mechanisms to the deep-water setting and less so by diagenesis. Synrift reservoirs are more affected by diagenesis, requiring detailed petrographic analysis. Carbonate reservoirs of the South Atlantic display the greatest degree of variability thus requiring detailed petrographic work. Our results suggest that the carbonate reservoirs have the most complex diagenetic profiles and must be related to the timing of hydrocarbon migration to better understand charge risk.

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