Example of gas discoveries in the Rharb Basin, Morocco

Abstract: A Success Story of Finding and Exploiting New Resources in an Old Productive Basin

Example of gas discoveries in the Rharb Basin, Morocco.

The Rharb Basin is situated midway between Tangier in the north on the Mediterranean coast and the Moroccan capital of Rabat to the south on the Atlantic coast. The basin contains over 3000m of Late Tertiary clastic sediments. A sequence stratigraphic approach was used to subdivide the Late Tertiary “Productive Series” of the basin, with the definition of 8 distinct units. The Mio-Pliocene mudrock depocentre contains thin good reservoir quality gas-bearing sands. The seismic response of the gas sands shows up as bright negative amplitudes on the 3D seismic, as the gas content lowers the density and slows the seismic velocity. Earlier exploration had been conducted using widely spaced 2D seismic data and led to a few discoveries, proving the existence of a working petroleum system. Detailed interpretation of the 3D seismic delineated the location and geometry of the anomalies for drilling targets. The gas sands are contained in combination structural-stratigraphic pinchout traps with both footwall and hanging wall structures present. Co-eval marls and shales provide top, bottom and lateral seals.

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