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Neoproterozoic Petroleum Systems


We are investigating aspects of Neoproterozoic carbonate and glaciclastic successions in Brazil, Namibia, Congo and Zambia, from a petroleum systems perspective. The research, which is being hosted at Royal Holloway, involves intensive international collaboration with the Royal Museum for Central Africa (Belgium), the Federal University of Ouro Preto (Brazil), the University of Namibia (Windhoek), and the University of Zambia.

Live oil is well known from Neoproterozoic petroleum systems in places such as east Siberia and Oman. The global commonality of stratigraphy in Cryogenian and Ediacaran successions, regardless of plate tectonic setting, is informing our hypothesis formulation. We have special emphasis on source rock habitat, particularly in the aftermath of 850-630 Ma pan-glacial states, and are attempting to correlate key aspects of the stratigraphy- potential source rock, reservoir and seal- on a mega-regional scale. This includes, but is not limited to, the Sao Francisco Basin of Brazil, the Central Cuvette of the Congo, the Kassanje Basin of Angola, and the Ovambo Basin of Namibia.

neoprotsys1Stromatolite (thrombolite) reef complex in the Ediacaran-aged Nama Group of central Namibia. These large mounded growths such as these (behind the geologist) are predicted to be major hydrocarbon reservoirs in the Ovambo Basin.
Glacial dropstone in the ~800 Ma old Bebedouro Formation of the Sao Francisco Craton, Brazil. Deglacial black shales could be major hydrocarbon source rocks in Neoproterozoic petroleum systems.


  • Dr Dan Le Heron
  • Prof Pete Burgess
  • Prof Dan Bosence
  • Dr Bernie Vining
  • Dr Trevor Burchette






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