East Africa’s Great Rift includes four rift systems that promise to hold significant deposits of oil. Africa Oil Corporation has been exploring and drilling here, and prepared a report that includes a number of excellent maps and graphics of seismic data. I’ve selected a few to show you here, but you can see them in greater clarity and detail in the PDF report Hunting Elephants In East Africa’s Rift Basins = January 2012 PDF.
The four rift systems from different geologic time are illustrated above and below. You can click the maps to enlarge enough to read. Tertiary Rift: runs through Uganda Kenya Ethiopia Cretaceous Rift: runs through Sudan Kenya Mali Jurassic Rift: crosses to include Yemen and the Puntland region of Somalia Permian Triassic Rift: crosses the sea from Ethiopia through southern Somalia to Madagascar
The Tertiary Rift
Tertiary Rift Uganda Kenya Ethiopia: Tullow’s Uganda discoveries now at 2.5+ billion barrels of reserves. Tertiary rift in Kenya/Ethiopia contains the same source and reservoir system as Uganda as confirmed by Leperot discovery by Shell in 1992.
The Cretaceous Rift
Cretaceous Rift Kenya Mali Sudan: Over 6 billion barrels of oil discovered on trend in the analogous system in Sudan. Thick oil stained section in the 1980s vintage Amoco/Total wells confirms hydrocarbon system.
The Jurassic Rift
Jurassic Rift Yemen Somalia: Prolific, proven play in Yemen expected to extend into Puntland, which shares a common geologic history. Yemen fields produce from high quality Cretaceous and Jurassic reservoirs and source rocks. Numerous oil shows from wells drilled by previous operators confirm Jurassic source rock.
The Permian Triassic Rift
Permo-Triassic Rift Ethiopia Madagascar: Multi-TCF gas reserves have been discovered in Triassic sandstones. Light oil has been tested in fractured Jurassic carbonates. El Kuran field discovered by Tenneco in the 1970s confirmed oil and gas in both systems.
Here is some detail of the Dharoor block in Puntland Somalia.
Here is some detail on Block 10A in Kenya where they are beginning to drill.
A map of East Africa suggesting the underlying petroleum system.
These are the local totals for potential barrels of oil that Africa Oil Corporation expects to be able to recover from Kenya, Ethiopia, and Puntland in Somalia.
Do note the caveat:
There is no certainty that any portion of the resources will be discovered. If discovered there is no certainty the the discovery will be commercially viable to produce any portion of the resources.
All of these countries and locations mapped are of interest to the United States and its Africa Command, AFRICOM. Many aspects of that interest have been covered here in this blog.
These earlier posts, along with their comments, are particularly relevant to East African oil.
If Uganda Has Oil It Must Need The Pentagon’s Democracy
Uganda – Oil Reserves To Rival Saudi Arabia?