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What’s Next for Atlantic Exploration?

From the Norwegian Sea to the Cape of Good Hope, the vast Eastern Atlantic Margin contains some of the world’s most prolific exploration acreage, with industry activity across the region continuing to push new technological, conceptual and geographical frontiers. Recent efforts trend toward increasingly deeper waters, seeking to replicate the successes of high-profile discoveries from the last 12 years, whilst in underexplored basins, new phases of data acquisition are aimed at reducing uncertainty and encouraging activity. However, mixed results persist.

This series investigates key basins from the Eastern Atlantic Margin using Neftex® Insights and DecisionSpace® software, examining regional variability and major controls on prospectivity across the margin. By integrating cutting-edge content with advanced workflows and computational modeling, past failures are scrutinized, current trends defined and future potential examined.

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Talk 1: Evaluation of the Brulpadda Exploration Well – a New African Frontier?

This talk looks to a new African frontier basin associated with the opening of the Atlantic Ocean, discussing both the pre-drill assessment and post-drill results of the Brulpadda well in the Southern Outeniqua Basin, South Africa. Particular emphasis is given to predicting the hydrocarbon phase, discussed as part of our ‘Wells-to-Watch’ and 1D modeling series, with the regional implications discussed. Using the Neftex® Insights portfolio, we illustrate how a quick evaluation of key risks affecting play extensions or frontier prospects can be made, with particular emphasis given here to the Neftex® 1D Basin models and how they are used to assess phase.

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Talk 2: Using Basin Modeling and Sensitivity Analysis to Investigate the Lack of Exploration Success in the Southern Porcupine Basin

The exploration potential of the frontier southern Porcupine Basin remains uncertain following several high-profile failures in 2017. Discoveries at Connemara, Spanish Point, and Burren have proven the presence of a working petroleum system in the northern Porcupine Basin, but this success has yet to be replicated in the south. This study uses Permedia® basin modeling software to identify critical factors that affect charge risk within the basin, evaluating two 1D models from the basin flank (well 43/13-1) and from the basin center (well 53/6-1). Stratigraphic sections were developed by integrating publicly available data with regional geological interpretations using Neftex® Insights portfolio. The modeling results highlight possible reasons for recent exploration failure in the central Southern Porcupine Basin while emphasizing the need for strong regional geological understanding.


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Talk 3: Is Recent Failure Offshore Morocco Reflective of the Margins True Potential?

The Moroccan offshore has been subject to increased exploration activity during the last five years, but with little material success. Jurassic source rocks are believed to be essential for the margin’s prospectivity, but while a working petroleum system is known, there is limited data available to confirm either presence or maturity. Questions regarding reservoir quality and sediment dispersal pathways also persist, with paleoclimate an important controlling factor. Using the Neftex® Insights Exploration Toolset, in addition to advanced earth systems modeling, we discuss the maturity of key source rock horizons and highlight the importance of a source-to-sink mindset when investigating underexplored basins.


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Talk 4: Assessing Source Rock Heterogeneity and Charge Risk in the MSGBC Basin: Insights from Recent Drilling Results

The Mauritania-Senegal-The Gambia-Guinea Bissau-Guinea Conkary (MSGBC) Basin remains an exploration hotspot following numerous high-profile discoveries of the last five years. These include the largest West African oil discovery (SNE) and the largest gas field of the West African Margin (Tortue). However, recently the wider potential of the MSGBC Basin has been questioned due to several disappointing well results, including SAMO-1 (The Gambia) in November 2018. Focusing on offshore Senegal and The Gambia, we will show how the use of the Neftex® Insights exploration toolset and DecisionSpace® software can be used to interrogate regional source rock variability and outline what recent exploration might tell us about future potential.


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