Woodside and Baraka Reprocess Seismic Data for Taoudeni Basin

Mauritania Ta 11, Ta 12
(Click to Enlarge)
Baraka Petroleum Limited says that seismic data for Mauritania onshore Taoudeni Basin blocks TA11 and Ta12 have been successfully reprocessed, with leads originally identified in the mid 1970's confirmed.

Both blocks are subject to farm-in agreements between wholly owned Baraka subsidiary Baraka Mauritania Ventures Limited (BMV) and Woodside Mauritania Pty. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Woodside Petroleum Limited (Woodside). Woodside farmed in for a 75% interest in the Taoudeni Basin PSC areas in 2005.

At the time of entering into a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) for these blocks Baraka, through BMV, acquired a complete set of all available seismic data for the entire Taoudeni basin (approx. 1mm sqkm). Reprocessing of these vintage data was not only a first term PSC requirement in Blocks Ta11 and Ta12, but also considered essential for maturing leads and prospects throughout the basin.

Baraka's Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Satyavan Reymond believes that having possession of these reprocessed data gives the company an advantage when determining prospectivity of these blocks.

"Having complete access to this reprocessed data provides Baraka with a great strategic advantage as it allows for a complete review of old information with new information and therefore ensures that we can gain a modern understanding of the rock facies distribution in this largely unexplored basin that has considerable potential for oil and gas," Dr. Reymond said.

"The modern reprocessing of these historical data shows better than expected resolution of both stratigraphic and structural nature. This ties in well with similar work recently completed by CGG for Baraka on its Mali tenements.

One of the reprocessed seismic line ties (runs) through the ABOLAG-1 well drilled in 1974 which recorded encouraging gas shows of 480,000 scf/d from the Infracambrian combined source rock and reservoir interval. These Infracambrian rocks are present throughout the basin as confirmed by the new data on the facies distribution maps produced by the Baraka team (refer editors notes).

The reprocessing of the 1972-1973 data was carried out by FUGRO in Perth, under the supervision of Woodside.

Baraka Petroleum Limited is a public company, established to acquire, consolidate and develop oil and gas assets and activities, located initially in the potential hydrocarbon basins in West Africa.

Baraka has one of the largest oil and gas exploration assets in West Africa, has attracted the attention of international petroleum exploration and production companies. The Company has secured rights to explore ad develop eight tenement areas covering over 272,000 km2 in Mauritania and Mali.

The Company's corporate strategy to preserve capital while maximizing exploration on the tenements through farm-ins and joint ventures is intended to ensure the Company receives full value for its shareholders.

About the Taoudeni Basin:

The Taoudeni Basin underlies eastern Mauritania and western Mali. The prospectivity of the basin is based on the presence of good quality source rocks of Silurian and Infracambrian age. The Silurian shales are believed to be equivalent to the organically rich Tanezzuft Shale in the prolific oil and gas producing Illizi Basin in Algeria. The Illizi Basin reportedly contains minimum reserves of 7 billion barrels of oil equivalent. The black shales of Infracambrian age are similar to those of the West Siberia Basin. According to anecdotal stories, at outcrop around the northern rim of the Taoudeni Basin these rocks are burned by local nomads. The prospectivity is further supported by results obtained from the Abolag-1 well in the Mauritanian sector of the basin in 1974 which followed 480 000sfcd gas on test from fractured dolomites of the Middle Infracambrian.

Four wells have been drilled in the basin, including Abolag-1. Two of the other three drill holes contained hydrocarbon shows. These wells were drilled on the basis of sparse seismic data with line spacings of between 10 and 50 kms. The review work confirmed the prospectivity of the area covered by the two PSC's totaling approximately 70,000km2 in the selected portion of the Mauritanian sector of this extremely large basin.

No petroleum exploration wells have been drilled in the PSC's or the areas covered by the Mali PSAs. Evaluation of the Taoudeni Basin is thus at a very early stage, requiring reprocessing of the old sesmic data and new aeromagnetic, gravity and/or seismic data acquisition prior to drilling operations. The areas are very large and if workable petroleum systems can be shown to be present, then the potential for obtaining farm in partners and in due course making sequential major gas or oil discoveries will be excellent.


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