In total, some 60 wells have been drilled onshore and less than 10 offshore Somalia*, none of which in deep water. Several prospective basins remain undrilled, such as the offshore Jubba and Mid Somali High basins and the onshore Odewayne basin. In view of the gas discoveries offshore Mozambique and Tanzania, and also of encouraging results offshore Kenya (sub-commercial oil discovery Sunbird-1) and in Madagascar, the Somalian offshore and onshore basins were re-evaluated.
As to the Somali onshore basins, the extension of the Yemeni Jurassic and Cretaceous rifts into Somalia highlights their prospectivity. Seeps abound (Odewayne and Nogal basins) and some wells encountered good shows. Late Jurassic and Upper Cretaceous marine shales are source rock candidates. Gas in the area of Mogadishu may be associated with the Early Triassic Bokh Fm. source rock. Seeps in western Somalia are rare, and may result either from long-distance migration out of the Calub Graben or from locally mature Lower Cretaceous or Upper Jurassic.
We establish an inventory of proven and possible source rock occurences in Somalia by integrating publicly available data on slicks and seeps, geological and gravity maps, literature data, well data and geological information from adjoining basins. Our data indicate that in the Somali part of the Gulf of Aden, high heat-flow may critically affect the Late Jurassic source rock. However, Late Cretaceous or even Eocene sources may be locally oil-mature.
The presence of source rocks on the Somali Indian Ocean margin remains presently speculative. Abundance of slicks in the area south of Mogadishu may not relate to hydrocarbons. Of more interest are reported isolated slicks further to the north, in deeper waters of the Mogadishu and Mid-Somalia High Basins. These slicks may be related to Lower/Mid-Jurassic, Late Jurassic, Late Cretaceous or Eocene sources.
Analysis of onshore seeps in northern Somalia (Nogal, Daroor, Odewayne basins), integrated with seismic data, will allow to determine the origin of these oils and an assessment of the size of prospective kitchen areas. In the offshore, 3D-Basin-modelling will be required to determine which areas are prospective for gas or, especially, for oil.