The Niger Delta Petroleum System: Niger Delta Province, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea, AfricabyMichele L. W. Tuttle, Ronald R. Charpentier, and Michael E. BrownfieldOpen-File Report 99-50-H
Chapter ATertiary Niger Delta (Akata-Agbada) Petroleum System (No. 701901), Niger Delta Province, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea, Africaby Michele L. W. Tuttle, Michael E. Brownfield, and Ronald R. CharpentierABSTRACT In the Niger Delta province, we have identified one petroleum system--the Tertiary Niger Delta (Akata-Agbada) petroleum system. The delta formed at the site of a rift triple junction related to the opening of the southern Atlantic starting in the Late Jurassic and continuing into the Cretaceous. The delta proper began developing in the Eocene, accumulating sediments that now are over 10 kilometers thick. The primary source rock is the upper Akata Formation, the marine-shale facies of the delta, with possibly contribution from interbedded marine shale of the lowermost Agbada Formation. Oil is produced from sandstone facies within the Agbada Formation, however, turbidite sand in the upper Akata Formation is a potential target in deep water offshore and possibly beneath currently producing intervals onshore.Known oil and gas resources of the Niger Delta rank the province as the twelfth largest in the world. To date, 34.5 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 93.8 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas have been discovered. In 1997, Nigeria was the fifth largest crude oil supplier to the United States, supplying 689,000 barrels/day of crude.INTRODUCTION The Niger Delta is situated in the Gulf of Guinea (fig. 1) and extends throughout the Niger Delta Province as defined by Klett and others (1997). From the Eocene to the present, the delta has prograded southwestward, forming depobelts that represent the most active portion of the delta at each stage of its development (Doust and Omatsola, 1990). These depobelts form one of the largest regressive deltas in the world with an area of some 300,000 km2 (Kulke, 1995), a sediment volume of 500,000 km3(Hospers, 1965), and a sediment thickness of over 10 km in the basin depocenter (Kaplan and others, 1994).The Niger Delta Province contains only one identified petroleum system (Kulke, 1995; Ekweozor and Daukoru, 1994; this study). This system is referred to here as the Tertiary Niger Delta (Akata –Agbada) Petroleum System.1 The maximum extent of the petroleum system coincides with the boundaries of the province (fig. 1). The minimum extent of the system is defined by the areal extent of fields and contains known resources (cumulative production plus proved reserves) of 34.5 billion barrels of oil (BBO) and 93.8 trillion cubic feet of gas2 (TCFG) (14.9 billion barrels of oil equivalent, BBOE) (Petroconsultants, 1996a). Currently, most of this petroleum is in fields that are onshore or on the continental shelf in waters less than 200 meters deep (fig. 1), and occurs primarily in large, relatively simple structures. A few giant fields do occur in the delta, the largest contains just over 1.0 BBO (Petroconsultants, Inc., 1996a). Among the provinces ranked in the U.S. Geological Survey's World Energy Assessment (Klett and others, 1997), the Niger Delta province is the twelfth richest in petroleum resources, with 2.2% of the world’s discovered oil and 1.4% of the world’s discovered gas (Petroconsultants, Inc. 1996a).In 1908, the German Nigerian Bitumen Corporation drilled the first wells in the vicinity of the tar seep deposits in the northern portion of the delta (Frost, 1997). However, significant oil shows were not found in Tertiary rocks until the early 1950’s. Shell-British Petroleum brought the first well on stream in 1958 at 5,100 barrels per day. From 1958 until the Biafran War in 1967, exploration and production increased in Nigeria. The war curtailed both activities until its end in 1970, when world oil prices were rising and Nigeria again could...
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