Seepage rate of hydrothermally generated petroleum in East African Rift lakes

an example from Lake Tanganyika

Davide Oppo, Andrew Hurst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Synthetic Aperture Radar images provide temporal coverage of the oil seepage recurrence at Cape Kalumba, Lake Tanganyika. In combination with legacy seismic data, it has been possible to reconstruct the geological context that regulates seepage and estimate the oil seepage rates. Oil seepage is along fractures associated with the East Ubwari Faults, which in turn promote an active
hydrothermal system that matures very shallow (10’s m below the lake floor) oil-prone, less than 25 kyr old source rocks. Temporally consistent oil slick origin points are preferentially aligned E-W and SE-NW, and feed oil slicks on the lake surface. Pervasive seeps activity with significant emission rates, up to 449.39 m3y-1, proves the presence of high-quality oil-prone source rocks and an active petroleum system that emits oil to form slicks. Hydrothermally-driven source rock maturation occurring at very shallow depth creates a narrow depth-window for conventional trapping of oil. Elsewhere in the lakes of the East African Rift, where similar hydrothermal systems occur, oil slicks may only be indicative of active petroleum systems without the presence of conventional traps.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-159
Number of pages11
JournalMarine and Petroleum Geology
Volume92
Early online date25 Feb 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

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seepage
crude oil
lakes
oils
petroleum
oil slicks
oil
lake
source rock
rocks
hydrothermal systems
rate
synthetic aperture radar
hydrothermal system
trapping
maturation
seismic data
traps
estimates

Keywords

  • Hydrothermal petroleum
  • rift lake
  • Lake Tanganyika
  • oil seep
  • Easr African rift
  • synthetic aperture radar

Cite this

Seepage rate of hydrothermally generated petroleum in East African Rift lakes : an example from Lake Tanganyika. / Oppo, Davide; Hurst, Andrew.

In: Marine and Petroleum Geology, Vol. 92, 04.2018, p. 149-159.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Synthetic Aperture Radar images provide temporal coverage of the oil seepage recurrence at Cape Kalumba, Lake Tanganyika. In combination with legacy seismic data, it has been possible to reconstruct the geological context that regulates seepage and estimate the oil seepage rates. Oil seepage is along fractures associated with the East Ubwari Faults, which in turn promote an activehydrothermal system that matures very shallow (10’s m below the lake floor) oil-prone, less than 25 kyr old source rocks. Temporally consistent oil slick origin points are preferentially aligned E-W and SE-NW, and feed oil slicks on the lake surface. Pervasive seeps activity with significant emission rates, up to 449.39 m3y-1, proves the presence of high-quality oil-prone source rocks and an active petroleum system that emits oil to form slicks. Hydrothermally-driven source rock maturation occurring at very shallow depth creates a narrow depth-window for conventional trapping of oil. Elsewhere in the lakes of the East African Rift, where similar hydrothermal systems occur, oil slicks may only be indicative of active petroleum systems without the presence of conventional traps.",
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