Niger Delta Geochemistry

Core Laboratories has performed a non-exclusive oil and source rock study of the regional petroleum potential of the Niger Delta, Nigeria.

This study of the Niger Delta involves detailed geochemical analysis and interpretation of 112 oils from the offshore and onshore Niger Delta, and offshore Cameroon in the Rio Del Rey area. A comprehensive analytical program was used to establish the genetic relationships of the oils. In addition, 870 rock samples from seventeen (17) well sections (and two outcrops) representative of potential source rocks from the offshore and coastal onshore Niger Delta were obtained, as well as one outcrop from the Upper Benue Trough, for geochemical evaluation . Acquisition of effective source rocks within the Niger Delta has been difficult due to the unconsolidation of sediments, non-penetration of effective source beds (in particular pre-Agbada formations), and the general lack of available well control in the Delta area.

The regional geochemical study addresses several critically important questions, including the following:

  • Determination of the character, distribution, and number of genetically distinct oil families in the Niger Delta area
  • Estimation of the relative thermal histories of the various oil families and their source rocks based upon the crude oil molecular and physical properties
  • Determination of the number of effective source intervals responsible for the hydrocarbons found in the Niger Delta and to some degree in the Benin Embayment of Nigeria
  • Determination if the Akata Formation and/or the Agbada Formation, are the effective source facies in the offshore and onshore Niger Delta area, specifically, the western versus eastern delta area
  • Determination of the source paleoenvironments of the Tertiary reservoired (primary Agbada Formation) oils from the Niger Delta
  • Determination of the kerogen types of the Akata and Agbada shale source intervals
  • Determination if the oil families from the Niger Delta are genetically related to the oils from offshore Cameroon
  • Determination if there are pre-Tertiary sourced oils present in the offshore and/or coastal onshore Niger Delta
  • Correlation of produced oils with their effective source areas to identify probable migration pathways

Results of the study are presented in both analytical and interpretive formats to ensure that all findings are readily accessible to the explorationists and research personnel. Data is available in paper, digital and HTML formats.