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Subsalt exploration in shallow waters of the Republic of CongoGreen Open Access

Authors: P. Le Barbanchon, T. Martin, M. Martin, L. Andzouono, J.P. Saba and A.R. N’Gouala Nzoussi
Journal name: First Break
Issue: Vol 37, No 3, March 2019 pp. 59 - 64
Language: English
Info: Article, PDF ( 1.16Mb )

Sixty years ago, hydrocarbon production started in the Republic of Congo with the Pointe Indienne Field. Since then, more than 30 other fields are in development and/or production. The Republic of Congo has seen several successful hydrocarbon exploration and production campaigns, establishing the country as one of the major oil producers in West Africa. The future of exploration in the Republic of Congo is building on reliable foundations, learning from the vast amount of data collected and applying successful geological concepts proven by previous discoveries. The enhanced subsurface images from recent reprocessing illuminates overlooked offshore accumulations. The work performed by SNPC (Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo) and PGS has produced new contiguous stateof- the-art regional depth seismic surveys (PGS MegaSurveyPlus) covering most of the Congo Shelf. Revitalization of the existing datasets required processing workflows that started with field tapes. Previously recognized imaging challenges, such as shallow water multiples, have now been addressed and the result is significant improvement of the image at a regional scale. The improvement in image resolution and data integrity reveal deep structural styles and subsalt prospectivity potential that were previously hidden. The tectonostratigraphic framework of the subsalt is better imaged, with new seismic facies packages and structures now discriminated. For the first time in the Republic of Congo, a new subsalt play, the Barremian mobile shale layer, is well resolved. This subsalt play has been proven in neighbouring analogues. Furthermore, this reliable pre-stack data allows more accurate rock physics analysis and lithology-fluid classifications allowing an improvement in derisking opportunities.

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