ABTRACT

 

The primary purpose of this work is to bring to light a few highly attractive areas where potential petroleum accumulations may be found in Madagascar by formulating a new theory on its tectonic history based on the application of  the principles of the Moody and Hill System of Wrench Fault Tectonics.

 

After an introduction to the guiding principles that governed oil research in Madagascar from the early 1900s to the 1960s -some of them still bearing an impact on present-day exploration companies- and a brief exposition of ideas of the main authors on tectonics and the possible origin of the Great Island, we advanced our own hypotheses resulting from the application of the Moody and Hill principles to the possible pre-Hercynian and likely post-Hercynian Malagasy systems. In particular, we laid emphasis on the Jurassic phenomenon of the Morondava Basin.

 

Next, resting upon the analysis of the relevant seismic lines and taking into account the past drilling results, we tried to explain the negative effects of unconformities on hydrocarbon accumulations within the Isalo formations.

 

As a result, we managed to highlight seven interest zones in 1980 which determined the selections operated by AMOCO and OXY later in 1981, that is ,southern Serinam, Bemaraha,  Lambosina, and Beroroha. We set forth the technical reasons that led us to pick the West Manambolo prospect for OMNIS to undertake a sole risk exploration drilling in 1986. The outcome was the discovery of the first gas field  in Madagascar in November 1987 after 40 years of unsuccessful research.

 

Finally, because of this and the find of significant light oil shows in Manandaza within the Karroo corridor in 1993, we elaborated a new synthesis of all available data which led us to reduce to five the number of the previous interest zones. They will cover only 15 percent of the total area of sedimentary basins and continental shelf of Madagascar  

 

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