Petroleum systems asymmetry across the South Atlantic Equatorial Margins
William Dickson, Craig F. Schiefelbein, Mark E. Odegard, John E. Zumberge, 2016. "Petroleum systems asymmetry across the South Atlantic Equatorial Margins", Transform Margins: Development, Controls and Petroleum Systems, M. Nemčok, S. Rybár, S. T. Sinha, S. A. Hermeston, L. Ledvényiová
Download citation file:
We describe an examination of two lines of evidence, tectono-structural evolution and hydrocarbon geochemistry, of asymmetric opening of the Atlantic Equatorial Margin. Our structural mapping used compilations of geophysical data and a review of both published literature and oil company public presentations. Geochemically, we accessed regional non-exclusive oil studies of the conjugate margins of Africa and South America, plus considerable published material. A group of non-exclusive oils was refined to 286, which clustered into five families, all represented along the NE Brazil margin but only one along the West African Transform (WAT) margin. Multiple lacustrine-sourced oils were seen around the South Atlantic, including NE Brazil, but a rich, oil-prone lacustrine source was not indicated offshore Ivory Coast and Ghana. Despite minor evidence of mixed source, possibly lacustrine stringers within an alluvial to marine setting, the predominant source is marine Cretaceous (Cenomanian–Turonian and possibly Albian). We find that opening asymmetry (a) biased the location of lacustrine (Early to mid-Cretaceous prerift to early synrift) source rocks to the NE Brazil margin and (b) locally narrowed the width of the optimal marine (Mid-Late Cretaceous postrift) WAT Margin source kitchens. Burial of the latter has aggravated the risk of late charge from light (condensate and gas) hydrocarbons.
Figures & Tables
This volume covers the linkage between new transform margin research and increasing transform margin exploration. It offers a critical set of predictive tools via an understanding of the mechanisms involved in the development of play concept elements at transform margins. It ties petroleum systems knowledge to the input coming from research focused on dynamic development, kinematic development, structural architecture and thermal regimes, together with their controlling factors. The volume does this by drawing from geophysical data (bathymetry, seismic, gravity and magnetic studies), structural geology, sedimentology, geochemistry, plate reconstruction and thermo-mechanical numerical modelling. It combines case studies (covering the Andaman Sea, Arctic, Coromandal, Guyana, Romanche, St. Paul and Suriname transform margins, the French Guyana hyper-oblique margin, the transtensional margin between the Caribbean and North American plates, and the Davie transform margin and its neighbour transform margins) with theoretical studies.