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Tarim G.,OMV Austria Exploration and Production GmbH | Jabour H.,Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines | Molnar J.,707 Queensmill Ct. | Valasek D.,Statoil | Zizi M.,Ziz Geoconsulting
AAPG Memoir | Year: 2012

The Moroccan salt basin remains one of the least explored of the west African salt basins. Although small producing fields in the onshore Essaouira Basin exist, so far, only subcommercial discoveries on the shelf have been made. During the last decade, three exploration wells were drilled in the deep water between Essaouira and Tarfaya in the central segment of the Atlantic margin of Morocco. These wells documented a general lack of reservoir-facies siliciclastics within the Cenozoic and Upper Cretaceous deep-water sequence. Compared to the other segments of the Atlantic margin, the Moroccan margin has had a fairly complex structural history since the Middle Jurassic breakup between the North American-African plates involving several well-documented Alpine compressional periods and mountain building in the adjacent Atlas Mountains. In particular, as the Neogene-Holocene inversion, uplift, and erosion of the Atlas system is very well documented onshore, the apparent lack of Upper Cretaceous and Cenozoic reservoirs in the first deep-water wells came as a surprise. Therefore, reservoir presence, as the most critical risk factor in the deepwater exploration of the Moroccan Atlantic margin, needs to be better understood before new exploration wells can be drilled. Based on regional evidence, the Lower Cretaceous and the Jurassic sequences are interpreted to be significantly more sand prone in the deep-water areas than the overlying Upper Cretaceous and Cenozoic strata. ©2012 by The American Association of Petroleum Geologists.


Montero P.,University of Granada | Haissen F.,Hassan II University | Mouttaqi A.,Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines | Molina J.F.,University of Granada | And 4 more authors.
Gondwana Research | Year: 2016

The Oulad Dlim Massif of the Western Reguibat Shield contains several carbonatite complexes of previously unknown age. The largest and best studied are Gleibat Lafhouda, composed of magnesiocarbonatites, and Twihinate, composed of calciocarbonatites. Gleibat Lafhouda is hosted by Archean gneisses and schists. It has a SHRIMP U-Th-Pb zircon crystallization age of 1.85±0.03Ga, a Nd model age of TCR =1.89±0.03Ga, and a Sm-Nd age of 1.85±0.39Ga. It forms part of the West Reguibat Alkaline province. Twihinate, on the other hand, is much younger. It is hosted by Late Silurian to Early Devonian deformed granites and has a zircon crystallization age of 104±4Ma, which is within error of the age of the carbonatites of the famous Richat Structure in the southwest Reguibat Shield. Like these, the Twihinate carbonatites are part of the Mid-Cretaceous Peri-Atlantic Alkaline Pulse. The Twihinate carbonatites contain abundant inherited zircons with ages that peak at ca. 420Ma, 620Ma, 2050Ma, 2466Ma, and 2830Ma. This indicates that their substratum has West African rather than, as previously suggested, Avalonian affinities. It has, however, a Paleoproterozoic component that is not found in the neighboring western Reguibat Shield. The 421Ma to 410Ma gneissic granites hosting Twihinate are epidote+biotite+Ca-rich garnet deformed I-type to A-type granites derived from magmas of deep origin compatible, therefore, with being generated in a subduction environment. These granites form a body of unknown dimensions and petrogenesis, the study of which will be of key importance for understanding the geology and crustal architecture of this region. © 2016 International Association for Gondwana Research.


Bea F.,University of Granada | Montero P.,University of Granada | Haissen F.,Hassan II University | Molina J.F.,University of Granada | And 5 more authors.
Gondwana Research | Year: 2015

West of the southern, Archean, part of the Reguibat Rise of the West African Craton the Oulad Dlim Massif consists of metamorphic nappes stacked during the Mauritanides (Variscan) orogeny. In the Derraman region, about 12km west of the nappes, we have found strongly deformed hypersolvus aegirine-riebeckite A1-type granites with SHRIMP zircon U-Pb ages of ca. 525±3Ma, ε(Nd)525Ma (-5.2 to -6.8.) and Nd model ages TCR ≈1.85Ga. These granites define two km-sized bodies and a few smaller satellites. One body is emplaced within a 3.12Ga leucocratic gneiss. The other body and its satellites are emplaced within an Archean low-grade metasedimentary sequence with detrital zircons that have ages that peak at 2.84Ga, 2.91Ga, and 3.15Ga. These Archean gneisses and metapelite rocks define a tectonic unit, hereafter called the Derraman-Bulautad-Leglat (DBL) unit, which was formed from the Reguibat basement at the very margin of the WAC. The ~525Ma Derraman granites are the oldest post-Archean rocks in this unit and were generated in an intraplate rifting environment from melting of crustal fenites during the ubiquitous Cambrian rifting event that affected this part of northern Gondwana. At the present level of knowledge, however, we cannot decide whether the "old" Nd isotope signature of Derraman granites resulted from melting of an old (Paleoproterozoic) fenite source or reflects the signature of the mantle-derived metasomatising fluids. The just-discovered Derraman granites are strikingly similar to other rift-related Cambrian-Ordovician hypersolvus aegirine-riebeckite granites widespread in North Gondwana. Understanding the potential connections between them would help to understand the Cambrian-Ordovician breakdown of northern Gondwana. © 2015 International Association for Gondwana Research.


Flecker R.,University of Bristol | Krijgsman W.,University Utrecht | Capella W.,University Utrecht | de Castro Martins C.,University of Bristol | And 32 more authors.
Earth-Science Reviews | Year: 2015

Marine gateways play a critical role in the exchange of water, heat, salt and nutrients between oceans and seas. As a result, changes in gateway geometry can significantly alter both the pattern of global ocean circulation and associated heat transport and climate, as well as having a profound impact on local environmental conditions. Mediterranean-Atlantic marine corridors that pre-date the modern Gibraltar Strait, closed during the Late Miocene and are now exposed on land in northern Morocco and southern Spain. The restriction and closure of these Miocene connections resulted in extreme salinity fluctuations in the Mediterranean, leading to the precipitation of thick evaporites. This event is known as the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC). The evolution and closure of the Mediterranean-Atlantic gateways are a critical control on the MSC, but at present the location, geometry and age of these gateways are still highly controversial, as is the impact of changing Mediterranean outflow on Northern Hemisphere circulation. Here, we present a comprehensive overview of the evolution of the Late Miocene gateways and the nature of Mediterranean-Atlantic exchange as deduced from published studies focussed both on the sediments preserved within the fossil corridors and inferences that can be derived from data in the adjacent basins. We also consider the possible impact of evolving exchange on both the Mediterranean and global climate and highlight the main enduring challenges for reconstructing past Mediterranean-Atlantic exchange. © 2015 Elsevier B.V..


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2009.5.2.2 | Award Amount: 3.13M | Year: 2010

COMET aims at identifying and assessing the most cost effective CO2 transport and storage infrastructure able to serve the West Mediterranean area, namely Portugal, Spain and Morocco. This is achieved considering the time and spatial aspects of the development of the energy sector and other industrial activities in those countries as well as the location, capacity and availability of potential CO2 storage geological formations. Special attention is given to a balanced decision on transport modes, matching the sources and sinks, addressing safety and lifetime objectives, meeting optimal cost - benefit trade-off, for a CCS network infrastructure as part of an international cooperation policy. The need for a joint CCS infrastructure in the West Mediterranean is related to the geographical proximity, to the increasing connections between the energy and industrial sectors in the area, to the continuity of sedimentary basins that can act as possible storage reservoirs and to the existing experience in managing a large gas transport infrastructure, such as the natural gas pipeline coming through Morocco, to Spain and Portugal. The consortium is coordinated by INETI (Portugal), and comprises 7 research institutions, 4 Universities, 1 SME and 5 energy companies from 6 European countries and Morocco. COMET aims to optimise the connection between sources and sinks by comparing the several possible transport modes (pipelines, trains, ships and trucks) and existing and to be realized infrastructures and expects to find the least-cost transport mode and routes from clusters to sinks. It is expected that each source cluster will be rigorously matched to the most suitable sink, while minimising the required investment in infrastructures and taking advantage of the effect of scale associated to an integrated infrastructure. COMET will be an important step towards the safe and commercial deployment of large scale near zero emission power plants in SW Europe and North Africa.

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