Petroleum potential of the Falkland Islands offshore area

Richards, P.C.; Gatliff, R.W.; Quinn, M.F.; Fannin, N.G.T.. 1996 Petroleum potential of the Falkland Islands offshore area. Journal of Petroleum Geology, 19 (2). 161-182.

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Rocks of Precambrian, Palaeozoic and Early Mesozoic ages are present on the Falkland Islands. The islands are surrounded by extensive Mesozoic-Cenozoic basins that developed as failed rift systems during the initial stages of Gondwana separation. Large tracts of acreage in three of these basins (the Falkland Plateau Basin, South Falkland Basin and North Falkland Basin) were opened for licensing for the first time in October, 1995. The area has undergone little exploration other than the acquisition of regional seismic data, and interpretations of stratigraphy and basin history are therefore somewhat conjectural. The basins are believed to contain Jurassic to earliest Cretaceous syn-rift sediments. Probable marine and lacustrine source rocks, and reservoir rocks eroded from clean Palaeozoic quartzites, are predicted to occur within this syn-rift succession. Thick argillaceous intervals probably accumulated during a post-Valanginian thermal sag phase. This sag phase was interrupted by regional uplift, particularly during the Early Cenozoic. A variety of “play” concepts can be established within each basin, and potentially large structural targets can be defined on the reconnaissance seismic data available from the area. The region is considered to be one of the World's last true “frontier” exploration areas, where large, deep, Mesozoic failed-rift basins remain to be drilled and explored.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Marine, Coastal and Hydrocarbons
ISSN: 0141-6421
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 07 Aug 2012 12:19 +0 (UTC)

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