Abstract

A variety of distinct salt tectonic features are present in the Sab’atayn Basin of western Yemen. Based on the interpretation of 2D/3D seismic data and exploration wells in the central part of the basin, an Upper Jurassic evaporite unit produced numerous salt rollers, salt pillows, reactive, flip-flop, and falling diapirs. Halokinetics began as soon as the early Cretaceous, within just a few million years after the deposition of the Tithonian Sab’atayn evaporite sequence. The significant proportions of nonevaporite lithologies within the “salt” made the seismic interpretation of the salt features challenging. The evaporite sequence had been described by most as a syn-rift unit and therefore a strong correlation was assumed between the subsalt syn-rift basement architecture and the overlying diapirs and other salt-related features. However, seismic reflection and well data revealed a nonsystematic relationship between the salt diapirs and the subsalt basement highs. This observation has very important implications for the subsalt fractured basement play in the Sab’atayn Basin.

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