Hyperextended crust identified below new play frontiers of Northwest African margin.

A new SEEBASE study for the African Central Atlantic margin by Frogtech Geoscience has revealed the first continuous 3D depth-to-basement interpretation from offshore Morocco to the Guinea Plateau. By building an integrated structural model, the study has highlighted a zone of hyperextended crust below emerging play frontiers of the Mauritania-Senegal-Gambia-Bissau-Conakry Basin.

The multi-client Northwest Africa Margin SEEBASE® Study and GIS integrates gravity and magnetic data, basement terranes and composition, and tectonic reconstructions to produce a Structurally Enhanced view of Economic BASEment and present-day basement heat flow model.

The study provides a regional geological framework that reduces exploration costs and risks. By leveraging Frogtech’s proprietary SEEBASE workflow, basement highs have been mapped below thick passive margin sequences in the distal continental domain, presenting new exploration opportunities.

The resultant SEEBASE structural model enables the observation that recent exploration successes in deepwater zones offshore Senegal to Guinea-Bissau occur over fundamental structural and topographical basement boundaries, including the Limit of Oceanic Crust. Of further note, recent gas discoveries in deepwater zones offshore Mauritania and Senegal overlie hyperextended crust (8 km thick), hinting at the influence of basement heat flow on source rock maturity.

Frogtech CEO, Ryan Murphy, underlines the value of the study. “Delivering layers of our interpretation data in an ArcGIS format desktop-ready GIS package, the geologically-constrained and integrated SEEBASE model defines basement architecture in a manner vastly superior to the simple gridding of depth points from seismic, magnetic and gravity datasets.”

The Northwest Africa Margin SEEBASE® Study and GIS provides a regional assessment and depth-to-basement model interpreted at a scale of 1:1,000,000. This interpretation framework is designed to accommodate integration of proprietary client datasets including higher-resolution gravity and magnetic data, well data and seismic interpretation to further customise the model in key areas of interest.

In summary, Mr. Murphy states: “SEEBASE is an evaluation tool that gives a basement perspective on the geology and prospectivity of complex regions. It provides a basis for focusing future exploration and data-acquisition strategies to reduce exploration risk and underpin petroleum systems analysis.”

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