Environmental Earth Sciences

, 78:638 | Cite as

Regional chronostratigraphic framework of sediments build-up in the Benin Basin: a guide for hydrocarbon prospecting

  • Peter S. OlaEmail author
  • Solomon O. Olabode
Original Article


An attempt to understand the structural and sedimentation framework in the Benin Basin is made herein. Unlike in its contiguous basins in the Gulf of Guinea Province, no significant oil and gas discovery has been reported in the basin. The aim here is to provide a chronostratigraphic framework of sediments build-up as a guide to hydrocarbon prospectivity in the basin. Existing biostratigraphic and sedimentologic data as well as few proprietary reports were integrated to establish a chronostratigraphic correlation in six directions within the Nigerian portion of the Benin Basin. Isopach maps of the chronostratigraphic subdivision of the sequences in the basin were also made. Sedimentation in restricted grabens started in the western part of the basin. Only Ise-2 well penetrated the oldest Cretaceous (Neocomian to Albian) sediments in the area of study with a thickness reaching up to 869 m. During the Miocene the focus of sedimentation predominantly shifted towards the offshore in the basin. Significantly a missing Eocene/Oligocene section was observed both on the seismic section and the stratigraphic record of the basin. Only Epiya-1 shows gas occurrence in the Miocene. Based on this work and locations of hydrocarbons recovery in the other part of the basin, exploration effort should target the Cretaceous sediments in the Nigerian portion of the basin.


Benin Basin Cretaceous Hydrocarbons Isopach Chronostratigraphy Graben 



This work is an offshoot of a research work carried out for BG. Nig. Ltd. Part of the proprietary data used for the study was obtained from Chevron/Texaco Nigeria and have been acknowledged in previous publications of the second author. Our sincere thanks also go to the two anonymous reviewers whose suggestions have significantly improved the quality of the paper.


  1. Adegoke OS (1969) Eocene stratigraphy of southern Nigeria. Collogue sur Eocene vol. III. Bur Rech Geol Min Mem 69:23–48Google Scholar
  2. Ajakaiye DE, Bally AW (2002) Course manual and atlas of structural styles on reflection profiles from the Niger Delta. In: American association of petroleum geologists, continuing education course note series no. 41Google Scholar
  3. Binks RM, Fairhead JD (1992) A plate tectonic framework for the evolution of the Cretaceous rift basins in West and Central Africa. In: Ziegler PA (ed) Geodynamics of rifting, vol. 2. Case history studies on rifts: North and South America, Africa–Arabia. Tectonophysics 213, pp 141–151Google Scholar
  4. Doust H, Omatsola E (1990) Niger Delta. In: Edwards JD, Santagrossi PA (eds) Divergent/passive margins basins. American association of petroleum geologists memoir 48, pp 201–238Google Scholar
  5. Guiraud R, Maurin JC (1992) Early Cretaceous rifts of western and central Africa—an overview. Tectonophysics 213:153–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Haack RC, Sundararaman P, Diedjomahor JO, Xiao H, Gant NJ, May ED, Kelsch K (2000) The Niger Delta petroleum systems, Nigeria. In: Mello MR, Katz BJ (eds) Petroleum systems of South Atlantic margins. American association of petroleum geologists memoir 73, pp 213–231Google Scholar
  7. Hessouh M, Marcous I, Pereira J-J, Farhangui HJ (1994) Hydrocarbon prospects for exploration and production: Republic Du Benin. Ministry of energy, mines and hydraulics, special publicationGoogle Scholar
  8. Jones HA, Hockey RD (1964) The geology of part of Southwestern Nigeria. Geol Surv Niger Bull 31:101Google Scholar
  9. Lambiase JJ (1989) The framework of African rifting during the Phanerozoic. J Afr Earth Sci 8:183–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Lehner P, De Ruiter PAC (1977) Structural history of the atlantic margin of Africa. Am Asso Petrol Geol Bull 61:961–981Google Scholar
  11. Nton ME, Ikhane PR, Tijani MN (2009) Aspect of Rock Eval studies of the Maastrichtian–Eocene sediments from subsurface, in the eastern dahomey basin south western Nigeria. Eur J Sci Res 25:417–427Google Scholar
  12. Ola PS, Olabode SO (2017) Tar sand occurrence: implications on hydrocarbon exploration in the offshore Benin Basin. Pet Sci Technol 35(6):523–534. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Olabode SO, Adekoya JA (2008) Seismic stratigraphy and development of Avon canyon in Benin (Dahomey) basin, southwestern Nigeria. J Afr Earth Sci 50:286–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Omatsola ME, Adegoke OS (1981) Tectonic evolution and Cretaceous stratigraphy of the Dahomey basin. Niger J Min Geol 8:130–137Google Scholar
  15. Samuel OJ, Cornford C, Jones M, Adekeye OA, Akande SO (2009) Improved understanding of the petroleum systems of the Niger delta Basin, Nigeria. Org Geochem 40:461–483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Sangree JB, Widmier JM (1979) Interpretation of depositional facies from seismic data. Geophysics 44(02):131–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Tissot BP, Demaison GJ, Masson P, Delteil J, Combaz A (1980) Paleoenvironment and petroleum potential of middle Cretaceous black shales in Atlantic basins. Am Assoc Pet Geol Bull 64, 2051–2063Google Scholar
  18. Vail PR (1977) Seismic stratigraphy interpretation using sequence stratigraphy. Part I: seismic stratigraphy interpretation procedure. In: Bally AW (ed) AAPG atlas of seismic stratigraphy. American association of petroleum geologists studies in geology, vol 27. American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Tulsa, pp 1–10Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Applied Geology DepartmentThe Federal University of TechnologyAkureNigeria

Personalised recommendations