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Guinea is underlain by the Archaean West African craton. In the northwest this is covered by a Palaeozoic basin (the Bove Basin) which extends offshore. Offshore the Bove Basin is buried beneath a sequence of Mesozoic and Cenozoic passive margin sediments associated with opening of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Bove basin was deposited on the northwestern margin of Gondwana during the Palaeozoic. The Cambro-Ordovician was dominated by continental deposition followed by a marine transgression from Early Silurian to the Lower Devonian. Some oil seeps have been reported in Guinea and there may be a source rock interval of Silurian shales corresponding to other areas in North Africa. The nearest wells where these have been drilled are in Senegal.

Offshore there is a Mesozoic section representing the southern edge of the Senegal basin which began to form within a Permian to Triassic rift system during the breakup of North America, Africa and South America. It continued as a passive margin basin after opening of the ocean.

Globalshift believes there may be potential oil and gas accumulations in deeper waters. Recent drilling in Senegal to the north has located petroleum systems associated with Cretaceous basin floor fans and shelf edge to slope clastic deposits. Similar plays have been tested elsewhere along the West Africa margin. Salt deformation in the deep basin could provide potential traps.

West Africa