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This is the last of three one-day workshops focused on “Basin Mastery”. It is hosted by AAPG Europe and PESGB. The subject of this final workshop is the Atlantic Equatorial Basins.

The “Basin Mastery” workshops will allow delegates to establish both a scientific and commercial outlook required for successful play development in past, present and future potentially prosperous plays in exciting basins. The course aims to take delegates from basin-to-play-to-prospect through a detailed exploration history and specific areas of expertise including structural geology and petroleum systems. The involvement of data providers where possible, will allow delegates to gain a coherent understanding of how to illustrate the subsurface and determine the success of the play in question.

The series previously included the Myanmar & the Rakhine Basin and the Greenland and Labrador Basins.

All workshops will take place at the PESGB headquarters in Croydon, easily accessible from central London.


If you have any other suggestions for what YOU would like to see, please send them through to the AAPG Europe office. Alternatively, if you feel qualified to conduct a course, either with basin knowledge or with deep technical expertise, please get in touch.

Morning Session Agenda
Richard James & Andrew Davies, Neftex

This first part of the day is intended to provide context for attendees who are unfamiliar with the basins of the Atlantic Equatorial margins. Material covered will include a brief history of exploration in the Equatorial Atlantic, the tectonostratigraphic evolution of the area in question and how this has given rise to the temporal and spatial distribution of key petroleum system elements. On the South American margin the area under discussion extends from the frontal thrust of the Barbados Accretionary Prism in the west, to the Touros High in the east, which defines the boundary between the offshore Potiguar and Pernambuco basins. On the conjugate African margin this talk will encompass the area between the southern flank of the Guinea Plateau – defined by the Doldrums Fracture Zone – and the Niger Delta.

Emphasis will be placed on the way in which strain has been partitioned along the margin through time and how this has served as a first-order control on the observed stratigraphy. This will be used to explain the various play elements and highlight how they differ from those observed in the more extensively explored basins of the South Atlantic. These considerations will be used to discuss important plays along both margins and attempt to elucidate some potential reasons for recent successes and failures.

  1. Introduction to the area of study
  2. Exploration history of the Equatorial Atlantic Margin
  3. Tectonostratigraphic development of the Equatorial Atlantic Margin
    • Main structural elements of the Equatorial Atlantic Margin
    • Timing of major tectonic events
    • Stratigraphic response to events
  4. Proven and potential play elements on the Equatorial Atlantic Margin
  5. Discussion of recent activity and future potential along the Equatorial Atlantic margin
Afternoon Session Agenda
Alan Roberts & Andy Alvey, Badley Geoscience Ltd
Nick Kusznir, University of Liverpool

The afternoon session of the workshop will focus on the OCT structure and regional/plate-scale evolution of the Equatorial Atlantic, within the context of the opening of the Atlantic as a whole. We will show how plate-scale processes have led to the basin-scale geometries of the conjugate margins observed today.

Maps of crustal-thickness and conjugate-margin stretching will be used to illustrate how the Equatorial Atlantic opened as a set of stepped rift-transform segments, rather than as a simple orthogonal rifted margin. This has resulted in complex crustal geometries within the basins targeted for exploration, which will be illustrated with a series of cross-sections produced for both conjugate margins. The palaeogeography of the equatorial region at the time of breakup will be assessed in the context of the diachronous opening of North and South Atlantic on either side. In addition, the possible influence of the prior opening of the Gulf of Mexico on the equatorial region will be discussed.

Finally, we will show how a knowledge of plate-scale processes and crustal architecture can help us to produce models of heat-flow history within the individual equatorial basins, as input to the petroleum systems models discussed in the morning session.

  1. Global crustal-thickness mapping, leading to crustal mapping and characterisation of the Equatorial Atlantic region
  2. Structure of the ocean-continent-transition in the Equatorial Atlantic region, highlighting prediction of crustal type along the conjugate margins
  3. Discussion of a sequence of conjugate-margin crustal cross-sections
  4. Plate-reconstruction summary for the Equatorial Atlantic region
  5. Discussion of plate models with an interactive session using G-Plates and crustal-thickness maps. Implications of diachronous Atlantic opening for palaeogeography in the Equatorial region
  6. Influence of adjacent areas on the opening of the Equatorial Atlantic
  7. Implications of crustal models for heat-flow prediction and petroleum-systems modeling


Basin Mastery - Atlantic Equatorial Basins
London - PESGB
No. 1 Croydon 12-16 Addiscombe Road
Croydon CR00XT
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 7408 2000
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