East Africa Region

Hydrocarbon exploration in East Africa is focused in two main areas, firstly along the continental margin offshore Tanzania and Kenya and secondly, around the African Great Lakes extending from Uganda northwards into SW Ethiopia. Onshore rift basins associated with the separation of East Africa from Madagascar and India have been cut by basins connected to the opening of the Red Sea-Gulf of Aden. Hydrocarbon discoveries have been made in basins of both the Karoo and East African rift systems. Many of the systems have been affected by flood basalt and other rift-related volcanism and understanding their interaction with and the distribution of clean sand reservoirs is key for success in East Africa, as well as in other analogous volcanically-affected basins.

History of Research

CASP has been undertaking fieldwork in the Blue Nile Basin, Ethiopia since 2012 in collaboration with Addis Ababa University. Field data and samples have been issued in reports focused on the area, as well as in studies incorporating and evaluating material from other comparable settings.

Key Geological Topics Covered

Research initially focused on the suitability of the Blue Nile Basin as an analogue for other rift basins significantly affected by flood basalt volcanism (e.g. Faroe-Shetland Basin). Topics have included the transition between the sub-volcanic Mesozoic sedimentary succession and the flood basalts; the internal stratigraphic subdivision of the flood basalts and the distribution and reservoir properties of interlava units. Research is continuing to focus on other aspects of the basin’s proven hydrocarbon system, such as the sealing potential of the volcanic succession, the thermal history of the basin and structural and/or volcanic controls on sediment distribution.