Petroleum potential of the Congo Basin
Earth and related Environmental sciences
Geodynamics and mineral resources
MetadataShow full item record
In Chap. 18, D. Delvaux and M. Fernandez-Alonso evaluate the petroleum potential of the Congo Basin, probably the last continental-scale sedimentary basin that is still poorly known in terms of petroleum system and related hydrocarbon resources. Whilst some studies have speculated that there may be giant oil deposits in the Congo Basin, to date no evidence for the presence of oil reservoirs has been forthcoming, despite possible potential source-rock levels, petroleum systems, and possible plays designated as targets for exploration projects in the 1950s and 1970s. The authors of this chapter present results of their recent re-analyses of the geological archives and samples stored in the collections of the Royal Museum for Central Africa. Based on their new geochemical analyses, black shales from the Neoproterozoic and early Palaeozoic sequences appear to be barren. In contrast, the Permian black shales are gas prone, whilst younger Jurassic-Cretaceous source rocks are of excellent quality (with Total Organic Carbon up to 25 %), but too immature. The authors also describe oil seeps along the Lukenie River and Lake Inongo that have been previously linked to potential oil reservoirs, but these turn out to be anthropogenic. Thus, whilst there is still no clear indication presently of active petroleum systems in the Congo Basin, this is based on very limited data. New exploration projects are needed to identify areas where Mesozoic source rocks might have reached maturity. Thus, whether the Congo Basin may become an important oil (or shale gas) producer in the future remains unanswered.
CitationDelvaux, D.; Fernandez, M. (2015). Petroleum potential of the Congo Basin. , The Geology and Resource Potential of the Congo Basin, Vol. chap. 18, 371-391, Springer, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-29482-2_18.
url: DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-29482-2_18