Global Neoproterozoic petroleum systems: the emerging potential in North Africa
Published:January 01, 2009
Jonathan Craig, Juergen Thurow, Bindra Thusu, Andy Whitham, Yousef Abutarruma, 2009. "Global Neoproterozoic petroleum systems: the emerging potential in North Africa", Global Neoproterozoic Petroleum Systems: The Emerging Potential in North Africa, J. Craig, J. Thurow, B. Thusu, A. Whitham, Y. Abutarruma
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The Neoproterozoic Eon is relatively poorly known from a petroleum perspective, despite the existence of producing, proven and potential plays in many parts of the world. In tectonic, climatic and petroleum systems terms, the Neoproterozoic to Early Cambrian period can be divided into three distinct phases: a Tonian to Early Cryogenian phase, prior to about 750 Ma, dominated by the formation, stabilization and initial break-up of the supercontinent of Rodinia; a mid Cryogenian to Early Ediacaran phase (c. 750–600 Ma) including the major global-scale ‘Sturtian’ and ‘Marinoan’ glaciations and a mid Ediacaran to Early Cambrian (c. post 600 Ma) phase corresponding with the formation and stabilization of the Gondwana Supercontinent. There is increasing evidence that deposition of many mid to late Neoproterozoic (to Early Palaeozoic) organic-rich units was triggered by strong post-glacial sea level rise on a global scale, following the ‘Snowball Earth’ type glaciations, coupled with basin development and rifting on a more local scale.
Fieldwork in North Africa including the Taoudenni Basin in Mauritania, Algeria and Mali; the Anti-Atlas region of Morocco and the Cyrenaica, Kufra and Murzuk basins in Libya has added to the understanding of reservoir, source and seal relationships and confirmed the widespread presence of Precambrian stromatolitic carbonate units of potential reservoir facies. Current research on the chronostratigraphy, distribution and quality of source rocks, controls on reservoir quality and distribution of seals in the Precambrian–Early Cambrian hydrocarbon plays throughout South America, North Africa, the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent is documented in this Special Publication.
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Global Neoproterozoic Petroleum Systems: The Emerging Potential in North Africa
Neoproterozoic successions are major hydrocarbon producers around the world. In North Africa, large basins with significant surface outcrops and thick sedimentary fills are widespread. These basins are now emerging as potential sources of hydrocarbons and are attracting interest from geological researchers in academia and the oil and gas industry.
This volume focuses on recent developments in the understanding and correlation of North African basin fills and explores novel approaches to prospecting for source and reservoir rocks. The papers cover aspects of petroleum prospectivity and age-equivalent global petroleum systems, Neoproterozoic tectonics and palaeogeography, sequence stratigraphy, glacial events and global climatic models, faunal and floral evolution and the deposition of source rocks.
The broader aim of this volume is to compare major environmental change, the emergence of life, the global carbon cycle and the implications for hydrocarbon exploration of well-studied Neoproterozoic successions worldwide.