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What's Ahead - Anthony Onukwu previews articles on emerging oil and gas regions.
Welcome to the first issue of 2011. As always, we are looking ahead and, in this issue, TWA brings you another interesting theme, with some exciting articles on emerging oil and gas regions.When German scientist Alfred Wegener put forward the idea that the geographic fit of the western coast of Africa and the eastern coast of South America had once been joined together in the geological past. Most people would have thought it was a myth, but advances in marine geology over the next 40 years led to the recognition that the two continents had separated at the end of the Jurassic and the very beginning of the Cretaceous periods by a process of rifting and oceanic suturing. Today, deepwater Brazil is the rising star in the Western Hemisphere for the oil and gas industry after the offshore finds in pre-salt, and deepwater west Africa—also with salt body structures—has achieved huge success in recent years. The number of fields is expected to increase fivefold by 2013. It is the immense promise of the giant deepwater “elephant” fields that is fueling the current boom in exploration and development and raising the levels of investment in these regions.
Probably the salient characteristic of the petroleum industry in the Probably the salient characteristic of the petroleum industry in the coming decade will be global cooperation. In that brief span the energy needs will be as great as those of the entire history of the industry, and to meet them, men, companies, and nations alike must pull together or they shall surely fall apart. pull together or they shall surely fall apart. History may record the 1960's as the period that witnessed the involvement of the petroleum industry in political controversy and international policies on a political controversy and international policies on a vast new scale. For several countries, petroleum provided a means for phenomenal economic growth and provided a means for phenomenal economic growth and new national identity. At the same time, prohibitive tax reforms were implemented and serious arguments were raised in legislatures as those deliberative bodies focused on ecological problems.
The 1970's are bound to be keynoted by change, and the petroleum industry is certain to be affected by new developments. Also certain is the fact that petroleum will itself cause changes in many parts of petroleum will itself cause changes in many parts of the world.
No serious study of America's needs for continued growth indeed, for simply meeting our essentials can ignore the certainty of enormous growth in demand for fossil fuels. The same is true on a worldwide scale. In the next 10 years, demand for crude petroleum will most likely double. That means we petroleum will most likely double. That means we must duplicate in a decade what previously took a century. Energy consumption will grow exponentially with an increase in population and an increase in the desire for "the good life". Energy is the base that will support this planet's people. In large measure, it will undergird the world's economic and social development.
If we accept these premises we must also accept an absolute requirement for worldwide acceleration of energy resource development. That process means more manpower, more new equipment, more new technology, and more nay, enormous capital investment.
In eras past, we were confident that a new and adequate crude oil supply was just another "basin" or a "little geology" away. The notion proved true so many times that it became axiomatic. Today, that pseudo phenomenon is still axiomatic and still pseudo phenomenon is still axiomatic and still applicable. Another supply is only a basin away or is on the technological horizon. However, as consumption rises, the incremental addition to reserves with each new find or improved recovery has less effect on the dynamics of the system. It becomes a smaller and smaller part of the total. We cannot afford many failures merely to find and develop a new "basin" every year.
I believe that, for the first time in recorded history, people are beginning to understand that the heretofore limitless bounty of the earth is finite. It is clear that a boundary does exist within which our living systems must be governed if man is to avoid radical disturbances of nature's equilibrium. Man stands accused today of violating his environmental balance, which is another way of saying that he may be on the verge of activities that may render him unable to support himself in the manner to which he has become accustomed.
At the same time, as the demand for oil products increases and as the production of oil becomes an increasingly capital-intensive enterprise, we will need to improve our ability to work closely and compatibly with those governments and companies who have jurisdiction over reserves. It is evident from recent events around the world that controls can be imposed that are incongruent with the commercial and perhaps the general social interest, but that reputedly coincide with the best national interest.
Liping, Xiong (Sinopec Exploration & Production Research Institute) | Yanli, Liu (Sinopec Exploration & Production Research Institute) | Danni, Shi (Sinopec Exploration & Production Research Institute)
This paper focuses on the tectonic evolution of the North African petroleum basins as the controlling factors on the major basins’ formation, evolution and the hydrocarbon accumulation, analyzing the petroleum enrichment conditions and proposing hydrocarbon accumulation mode. The analysis concludes that the distribution of North Africa Basins is in regular east-west direction, clear depression associates with highland structure. The basins becomes gradually older from the west to the east, corresponding to the Western Paleozoic basin, the Middle part Paleozoic and Mesozoic superimposed basin and the Eastern Mesozoic-Cenozoic rift basin. Petroleum in the Middle-West basins is mainly controlled by western Hercynian tectonic movement with obvious NE - SW distribution character, while petroleum in the East basins controlled by the Alpine tectonic movement, showing NW-SE distribution. Experienced a number of north-south direction reversals, the Paleozoic basin developed in the South and the Mesozoic -Cenozoic superimposed basin overlaying the Paleozoic Basin located in the North. The basins have two different accumulation models, which are younger source rocks associated with the older reservoirs and the older source rocks with the younger reservoirs.
North Africa in the paper refers to the area from Moroco to Libia, consisting of three tectonic units: Atlas mountain fold belt in the north, Hoggar Massif in the south and the serious of basins on the Sahara platform in the middle (figure 1). Most of the basins are developed on the crystalline basement formed during the Pan-African orogeny.
The evolution of North Africa plate is controlled by African plate tectonic evolution. During Cambrian - early carboniferous, the continental-margin basin developed in the North and South part,while inland depressed basins developed in the internal part .The whole North African area deposited the clastic sediments. Silurian - Devonian period, along with the rise of global sea level and global anoxic event, the two sets of dark mudstone deposited in the north of the Sahara area.Their high abundance of organic matter and hydrocarbon generation potential formed main hydrocarbon source rocks for the petroleum basin such as Algeria, Libya, etc.
ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION Let me begin by defining the scope and terms of this paper. Fig. 1 shows the North American Arctic and its geographic relationship to Canada. I will confine my remarks to the Canadian Arctic however because I am not qualified to discuss Alaskan or Greenland hydrocarbon potential. In discussing the Canadian Arctic, I will take a Literal geographic definition and talk about the territory north of the Arctic Circle. First, the sedimentary basins of the Canadian Arctic, the environment for exploration in these basins, and Imperial's and others' views as to their hydrocarbon potential. Second, some generalized comments on the economics of development of Arctic hydrocarbon resources. As to format and content, I will in effect discuss two topics:THE SEDIMENTARY BASINS OF THE CANADIAN ARCTIC Fig. 2 identifies the principal geologic subdivisions of the Arctic and shows the types of sedimentary rocks in the territory of interest. The designated dashed area is underlain by largely Devonian to Cambrian age rocks, although on the mainland a large part of it has a cover of younger rocks. In the Arctic Islands, the north border of this area where it joins the Sverdrup Basin is highly folded. This whole older Paleozoic area is somewhat analogous to the provincial portion of the Western Canada Sedimentary basin because of the age of the rocks and their gentle dip from the Precambrian Shield toward fold belts. Slightly south of the Arctic Circle it contains one significant hydrocarbon pool at Norman Wells, which emphasizes the similarity to Western Canada in as much as this pool is located in a Devonian age reef. The sedimentary basins identified by vertical stripes on Fig. 2 are significantly different. While each contains more or less Devonian to Cambrian rocks at the base of the sedimentary section, they are distinguished by the fact that they contain significant thicknesses of young Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and sometimes Tertiary rocks.' In our view, it is these basins which contain the majority of the hydrocarbon potential of the Canadian Arctic. The Eagle Plains basin lies between the Richardson and Ogilvie Mountains, and contains up t o 20,000 feet of total sedimentary rock. Up to 10,000 feet of this is late Paleozoic and Mesozoic. The basin contains major structures. As indicated on Fig. 2, what we are calling the Beaufort Basin is really a rather arbitrary subdivision of a much larger coastal margin basin which extends from the North Slope of Alaska, across the Yukon and Northwest Territories coasts surrounding the delta of the Mackenzie River, and on across the western edge of the Arctic Islands where it is quite imperfectly known, at least to my organization. In the onshore portion of the Beaufort Basin, 30 wells have been drilled and 4 are now drilling. The Beaufort Basin has a floor of Proterozoic and Paleozoic rocks. The basin fill consists mostly of sandstones and shales of which the bulk is Cretaceous and Tertiary in age.
Shale oil and gas in East Africa , with new ideas on reserves and possible synergies with renewables.
Shale oil and gas production have lately revolutionized the oil and gas industry as a real “game-changer”, especially in the US.
This has prompted many companies and governments to search for these unconventionals with successes in the UK, Poland and Argentina. These unconventionals do often occur onshore in places, where there is no conventional hydrocarbon production, thus enabling the local government or companies to have a new energy source, which is especially valid in Onshore East Africa.
New drilling technologies, which combine shale and geothermal drilling/production, are now being developed. Now it is possible to drill/produce both unconventionals and geothermal from a single well.Gas and oil could be produced from the central pipe, and hot water from the outer tubing, thereby reducing development cost for both methods.
In Tanzania a study was performed to look at unconventional oil and gas resources in sedimentary basins. A lot of data on Karoo geology, maturity, TOC’s and volumetrics will be presented.In general, one needs a thick sedimentary basin with a lot of shales, good maturity and TOC values, and a fairly unfaulted basin to prevent seismicity when fracking. In East Africa and Southern Africa at large only the Karoo sediments of Permian/Triassic age are a suitable candidate for large shale oil/gas reserves. The possible large Karoo shale gas development in South Africa is a good example.
A large heavy oilfield at surface in Madagascar proves an oil source in the Karoo . In S.Kenya and also on Pemba oil shows are known, with a unknown Pre-Jurassic source.
Preliminary resource calculations in Tanzania indicate possible resources in place of 50-200 Tcf of gas for the Selous basin, comparable in size with the South-African Karoo Basin. The depth of the source rocks make gas the most likely hydrocarbon phase. One has to note that calculating unconventional resources is much more complicated than with conventional resources, since the adsorbed gas (or oil) needs to be calculated from core or log analyses.An onshore well could also text the synergies with geothermal drilling.
Recently, TPDC in Tanzania has started a new evaluation, based on new mapping, rock analyses and maturity studies, into the shale oil and gas potential.
Altogether, shale gas (or oil) could be an interesting incentive for onshore Tanzania and East Africa at large.