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Abstract

Tectonic reconstructions made across the southern South Atlantic Ocean indicate a diversity of rift and drift basin characteristics on the conjugate margins that define them as different stratigraphic and structural entities. In terms of petroleum systems, the basins are not as unlike as some characteristics suggest. Given the lack of significant hydrocarbon discoveries to date south of the Walvis Ridge, doubts have been cast on the presence in this area of the prolific Lower Cretaceous lacustrine and marine source rock systems, which are well known in the Greater Campos Basin and offshore Angola. Oils and condensates from the basins south and north of the Walvis Ridge exhibit geochemical similarities suggesting that comparable source rock systems are present in both areas. The condensate geochemical analysis results from the Kudu Field in Namibia are compared with oils from marine and lacustrine sources in Brazil, indicating that the Kudu condensates are derived from at least two different source rocks. These results suggest that the underexplored basins offshore Namibia contain thermally mature Lower Cretaceous lacustrine and marine source rocks, offering a new frontier for petroleum exploration in Africa's southern South Atlantic.

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