M. Y. Ali1, J. H. Lee1,2

1 Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

2 POSCO International Corporation, Incheon, Korea.

** corresponding author,

Key words: Nogal Basin, Somalia, Somaliland, rift basin,source rock, maturation, petroleum system, modelling, Bihendula Group, Gumburo Formation, Jurassic, Cretaceous.

Seismic reflection profiles and well data show that the Nogal Basin, northern Somalia, has a structure and stratigraphy suitable for the generation and trapping of hydrocarbons. However, the data suggest that the Upper Jurassic Bihendula Group, which is the main source rock elsewhere in northern Somalia, is largely absent from the basin or is present only in the western part. The high geothermal gradient (~35-49 oC/km) and rapid increase of vitrinite reflectance with depth in the Upper Cretaceous succession indicate that the Gumburo Formation shales may locally have reached oil window maturity close to plutonic bodies. The Gumburo and Jesomma Formations include high quality reservoir sandstones and are sealed by transgressive mudstones and carbonates.

1D petroleum systems modelling was performed at wells Nogal-1 and Kalis-1, with 2D modelling along seismic lines CS-155 and CS-229 which pass through the wells. Two source rock models (Bihendula and lower Gumburo) were considered at the Nogal-1 well because the well did not penetrate the sequences below the Gumburo Formation. The two models generated significant hydrocarbon accumulations in tilted fault blocks within the Adigrat and Gumburo Formations. However, the model along the Kalis-1 well generated only negligible volumes of hydrocarbons, implying that the hydrocarbon potential is higher in the western part of the Nogal Basin than in the east. Potential traps in the basin are rotated fault blocks and roll-over anticlines which were mainly developed during Oligocene–Miocene rifting.

The main exploration risks in the basin are the lack of the Upper Jurassic source and reservoirs rocks, and the uncertain maturity of the Upper Cretaceous Gumburo and Jesomma shales. In addition, Oligocene–Miocene rift-related deformation has resulted in trap breaching and the reactivation of Late Cretaceous faults.

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