3D seismic analysis of the gas hydrate system and the fluid migration paths in part of the Niger Delta Basin, Nigeria.
Comprehensive qualitative and semi-quantitative seismic analysis was carried out on 3-dimensional seismic data ac- quired in the deepwater compressional and shale diapiric zone of the Niger Delta Basin using an advanced seismic imaging tool. The main aim of this work is to obtain an understanding of the forming mechanism of the gas hydrate system, and the fluid migration paths associated with this part of the basin. The results showed the presence of pockmarks on the seafloor and bottom simulating reflectors (BSRs) in the field, indicating the active fluid flux and existence of gas hydrate system in the area. In the area of approxi- mately 195 km2 occupying nearly 24% of the entire study field, three major zones with continuous or discontinuous BSRs of 3 to 7 km in length which are in the northeastern, southern and eastern part of the field respectively were delineated. The BSR is interpreted to be the transition between the free gas zone and the gas hydrate zone. The geologic structures including faults (strike-slip and nor- mal faults), chimneys and diapirs were deduced to be the main conduits for gas migration. It is concluded that the biogenic gases generated in the basin were possibly transported via faults and chimneys by advection processes and subsequently accumulated under low temperature and high pressure conditions in the free gas zone below the BSR forming gas hydrate. A plausible explanation for the presence of the ubiquitous pockmarks of different diameters and sizes in the area is the transportation of the excessive gas to the seafloor through these mapped geologic structures