Lirong Dou1*, Dingsheng Cheng2, Jingchun Wang1, Yebo Du2, Gaojie Xiao2 and Renchong Wang1

1 China National Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Company Ltd., 100034 Beijing, China.

2 Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development, Beijing 100083, China.

* Corresponding author, email:

Key words:Great Baobab field, inversion, rift basin, Bongor Basin, Chad, lacustrine source rocks, Cretaceous, basement plays, buried hills.

The Bongor Basin in southern Chad is an inverted rift basin located on Precambrian crystalline basement which is linked regionally to the Mesozoic – Cenozoic Western and Central African Rift System. Pay zones present in nearby rift basins (e.g. Upper Cretaceous and Paleogene reservoirs overlying Lower Cretaceous source rocks) are absent from the Bongor Basin, having been removed during latest Cretaceous – Paleogene inversion-related uplift and erosion. This study characterizes the petroleum system of the Bongor Basin through systematic analyses of source rocks, reservoirs and cap rocks.
Geochemical analyses of core plug samples of dark mudstones indicate that source rock intervals are present in Lower Cretaceous lacustrine shales of the Mimosa and upper Prosopis Formations. In addition, these mudstones are confirmed as a regional seal. Reservoir units include both Lower Cretaceous sandstones and Precambrian basement rocks, and mature source rocks may also act as a potential reservoir for shale oil. Dominant structural styles are large-scale inversion anticlines in the Lower Cretaceous succession whilst underlying “buried hill” -type basement plays may also be important. Accumulations of heavy to light oils and gas have been discovered in Lower Cretaceous sandstones and basement reservoirs.
The Great Baobab field, the largest discovery in the Bongor Basin with about 1.5 billion barrels of oil in-place, is located in the Northern Slope, a structural unit near the northern margin of the basin. Reservoirs are Lower Cretaceous syn-rift sandstones and weathered and fractured zones in the crystalline basement. The field currently produces about 32,000 barrels of oil per day.

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