Somaliland lies at the southern margin of the Gulf of Aden, a young and narrow oceanic basin formed in Oligo-Miocene time between the rifted margins of the Arabian and African plates. The conjugate northern margin in Yemen has producing oil and gas fields. Hydrocarbon exploration activity in Somaliland has been limited, with only two offshore wells, both of which with oil and gas shows, in Cretaceous carbonates and Tertiary clastics. 

Detailed analysis of the seismic and potential field data, integrated with geological and geochemical data from the wells suggest the presence of all the elements of at least two petroleum systems. The tectonic evolution and the crustal structure have also been taken into account to model the thermal history of offshore Somaliland. There exists a petroleum play consisting of Cretaceous and Tertiary reservoirs (within structural and stratigraphic traps) sourced from either Late Jurassic, Late Cretaceous or Eocene shales. The petroleum system chart in Figure 1 indicates that the critical moment for this play could be in the Late Miocene. A possible late thermal pulse associated with the transform margin to the north west could be modelled, resulting in additional prospectivity being present.


2018 Review of Systems Events Chart

Figure 1: Petroleum system event chart 


The current Somaliland data library consists of:

  • 5,398 km of 2D seismic
  • 5,057 km of grav/mag 
  • 34,693 km of aeromag
  • Interpretation report
  • Well logs

For more information, please contact TGS at:


UK Tel: +44 208 339 4200

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