The petroleum rich geological environment in Chad occurs because of the presence of the West-Central African Rift System (WCARS).
This rift system is divisible into the Western African Rift System (WARS) and Central African Rift System (CARS) which, although separate systems, are genetically related.
The West and Central African Rift Systems are failed rift basins dating from Early Cretaceous or Late Jurassic and are bound by extension faults of large displacement and uplifted Precambrian crystalline rock.
The basins (rifts) are genetically and physically linked and formed in response to far field stresses related to the formations of the South Atlantic Ocean and fragmentation of Gondwanaland.
Depending on orientation, some basins have experienced extension, other strike-slip motion, and still other transtension or transpression.
The WARS and CARS offer a myriad of complex structures and basin geometries ranging from variously orientated extensional fault blocks, shear zones, inversion structures, and positive and negative flower structures.
PROLIFIC RIFT BASIN SYSTEM
The WCARS and its associated basins represent a world class opportunity for oil and gas exploration and development underpinned by proven reserves and producing fields as well as significant, highly prospective and underexplored resources.
The main Western African Rift System basins include the Grein, Kafra, Tenere, Tefidet, Termit, Bongor and N’Dgel Edgi Basins. The main Central African Rift System basins in Chad are the Doba, Doseo and Salmat Basins.
The Doba Basin is part of the Central African Rift System (CARS) located at the southwest portion of Chad and is separated from the Doseo Basin by a large inversion anticline trending NE-SW, placed along the Pan-African Shear Zone.
The Doba Basin was formed as a rift basin in the early Cretaceous (144-100 Ma), during the break-up of Gondwana and the opening of the South Atlantic Ocean.
United’s Block H sits in the Termit Basin, the largest intracratonic basin in north-central Africa that was influenced by Cretaceous and Tertiary rifting.
The Termit basin’s exposure to marine influences through the Benue trough to the south provides significant petroleum potential.
Systematic Hydrocarbon Exploration of the Central African rift basins in this region was pioneered by Conoco in Chad in 1969.
First Oil was discovered in 1974 by Conoco in the Termit Basin near Lake Chad.
The most prolific discovery to date was in the Doba Basin by Exxon and partners in 1989.
This grouping of 7 producing fields in Doba and centered around the Kome field formed the commercial driver for the Chad-Cameroon pipeline project and was brought on-stream in 2003.
The Kome and area fields have since produced ~ 500k bbls of oil to date.
With the success of Kome fields and the sustained stability in the region, other international operators, CNPC and Glencore have successfully developed oilfields in the region and are currently producing into the Chad-Cameroon export pipeline.
The future of the oil and gas industry in Chad is promising with many under explored regions holding the potential for future commercial discoveries.
COUNTRY & INDUSTRY OVERVIEW
A nation of 11 million people, the Republic of Chad gained its independence from France in 1960 and is governed by a democratically elected President.
With initial oil production starting in 2003, Chad has become an increasingly successful producing country attracting large E&P as well as junior oil and gas firms to explore and develop the rich resource base in the country.
With economically favourable production sharing contracts issued to producing companies and a well-established Petroleum Ministry, Chad has created a stable and predictable environment to conduct business.
In support of the oil and gas industry, Chad has seen the development of several local and locally present international companies that provide a variety of goods and services to the oil and gas industry providing local jobs and benefits as well as reduced costs to producers.
Chad is a member country of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) (2010) which is an international organization which maintains a standard, assessing the levels of transparency regarding countries’ oil, gas and mineral resources.
In October, 2015, the Association of Oil Operators of Chad (AOOC) was formed and is a non-profit association made up of operators in the oil exploration and production industry in Chad.