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Palynology and stratigraphy of three deep wells in the Neogene Agbada formation, Niger Delta, Nigeria [Elektronische Ressource] : implications for petroleum exploration and paleoecology / von Samson Ige Bankole

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190 pages
Palynology and stratigraphy of three deep wells in the Neogene Agbada Formation, Niger Delta, Nigeria. Implications for petroleum exploration and paleoecology von Samson Ige BANKOLE Diplom-Geowissenschaftler von der Fakultät VI- Planen/ Bauen/ Umwelt der Technischen Universität Berlin zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades Doktor der Naturwissenschaften -Dr. rer. nat.- genehmigte Dissertation Promotionsausschuss: Vorsitzender: Prof. Dr. U. Tröger 1. Berichter: Prof. Dr. W. Dominik 2. Berichter: PD. Dr. E. Schrank 3. Berichter: Prof. Dr. B.-D. Erdtmann 4. Berichter: Prof. Dr. S.O. Akande Tag der wissenschaftlichen Aussprache: 13. August 2010 Berlin 2010 D 83 Acknowledgements This PhD thesis was started and completed at the “Fachgebiet Explorationsgeologie, Institut für Angewandte Geowissenschaften, Fakultät VI, der Technischen Universität Berlin, Germany” under the supervision of Prof. Dr. W. Dominik, Priv. Doz. Dr. E. Schrank and Prof. B-D. Erdtmann. Many thanks to Prof. Dominik for his guidance and assistance over the years from the beginning to the end of this project. Prof. Dominik’s scientific suggestions and advices have been of tremendous help to the successful completion of this thesis. My very sincere appreciations goes to Dr. Schrank for his supports without which this project wouldn´t have been reality. I am also grateful for the unhindered access to Dr.
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Palynology and stratigraphy of three deep wells in
the Neogene Agbada Formation, Niger Delta,
Nigeria. Implications for petroleum exploration and
paleoecology




von Samson Ige BANKOLE
Diplom-Geowissenschaftler







von der Fakultät VI- Planen/ Bauen/ Umwelt
der Technischen Universität Berlin
zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades
Doktor der Naturwissenschaften
-Dr. rer. nat.-
genehmigte Dissertation



Promotionsausschuss:
Vorsitzender: Prof. Dr. U. Tröger
1. Berichter: Prof. Dr. W. Dominik
2. Berichter: PD. Dr. E. Schrank
3. Berichter: Prof. Dr. B.-D. Erdtmann
4. Berichter: Prof. Dr. S.O. Akande



Tag der wissenschaftlichen Aussprache: 13. August 2010


Berlin 2010

D 83 Acknowledgements

This PhD thesis was started and completed at the “Fachgebiet Explorationsgeologie, Institut
für Angewandte Geowissenschaften, Fakultät VI, der Technischen Universität Berlin,
Germany” under the supervision of Prof. Dr. W. Dominik, Priv. Doz. Dr. E. Schrank and
Prof. B-D. Erdtmann. Many thanks to Prof. Dominik for his guidance and assistance over the
years from the beginning to the end of this project. Prof. Dominik’s scientific suggestions and
advices have been of tremendous help to the successful completion of this thesis. My very
sincere appreciations goes to Dr. Schrank for his supports without which this project wouldn´t
have been reality. I am also grateful for the unhindered access to Dr. Schrank and his personal
library during the quest for the solutions to the scientific questions ecountered during this
project. Many thanks are due to Prof. Erdtmann whose moral and personal financial assistance
initiated the start of this project. Acknowledgements are also made to Prof. Erdtmann´s
scientific advices which have hugely added to the quality of this thesis. Special appreciations
to Prof. S. O. Akande of the Geology and Mineral Sciences Department, University of Ilorin,
Nigeria for his suggestions during the analytical stage of this project and also for his words of
encouragement. I am deeply grateful to Dr. Schandelmeier for his inspirational support
throughout my stay here at the Technische Universität Berlin. Thanks are due to Dr. O. J. Ojo
of the Department of Geology and Mineral Sciences, University of Ilorin, Nigeria for his
scientific advices, so also to Dr. O. A. Adekeye of the same department. Drs. K. Ladipo and E.
Ganz of Shell Petroleum Development Company, Nigeria are greatly appreciated for their
assistance during the sample collection stage of this project. My profound gratitude to Dr. P.
Osterloff also of Shell Petroleum Development Company, Nigeria for his constructive
criticism and also for his scientific suggestions which have hugely added to the quality of this
thesis. Sincere appreciations are due to Mrs. R. Paul-Walz of the International Students
Division, Technische Universität Berlin for her support.

I am deeply indebted to all the following non-academic staff members of the Fachgebiet
“Explorationsgeologie, Technische Universität Berlin”, for their supports throughout the
duration of this project: Mrs. U. Schroeder (departmental secretary), B. Dunker, Clova, C.
Lange, C. von Engelhardt (retired), Messrs M. Thiel, V. Kola, and Kleeberg (retired). Mr.
Thiel was of enormous assistance during the digital drafting of the graphics for this project.
My sincere appreciations go to Dr. P. Luger´s scientific suggestions. Thanks are also due to
Dr. A. Brall for his supports.

i Special thanks to Dr. A. Eisawi of the Al Neelain University, Khartoum, Sudan for his fruitful
suggestions. The supports of PhD student colleagues: M. K. Barakat, V. Lorenz and A. Alwan
at various stages of this work are greatly acknowledged. Sincere appreciations are due to
Sarah Zeifelder for her assistance.

I wish to express my profound appreciations to the MD of Geotechnica GmbH Berlin, Mr. M.
Voge and the company secretary, Mrs. M. Schildberg for their supports and understanding
over the years.

I acknowledge the grant support by the VW-Foundation for the laboratory analysis and also
for the provision of laptop for this project. Thanks are also due to Berlin Senat through the
granting of one year “NaFöG Abschlußstipendium” which was of tremendous assistance to
the successful completion of this work.

Thanks are also due to Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria for the provision of
ditch cutting samples and log data used for this study and also for the permission to publish
the results of this project. The Directorate of Petroleum Resources (DPR) of Nigeria is
immensely thanked for the mandatory permission to provide the materials for this project.

I am particularly grateful for the support and understanding of the following members of my
family: Ribukat Bankole, Olumide Bankole and Omolola Bankole throughout the duration of
my studies here at the Technische Universität Berlin, Germany.
















iiTable of contents
Page
Acknowledgements.....................................................................................................................i
Table of Contents.......................................................................................................................iii
List of figures and tables………………………………………………………………….......vii
Zusammenfassung……………………………………………………………..........................ix
Abstract…………………………………………………………………………......................xi

Chapter 1: Introduction

1. Introduction…….....................................................................................................................1
1.1 Location of the basin and the study area...............................................................................2
1.2 Geological evolution and history of the southern Nigeria basins and the Cenozoic Niger
Delta ...........................................................................................................................................3
1.3 Stratigraphy of the Tertiary Niger Delta...............................................................................4
1.3.1 The Akata Formation.........................................................................................................6
1.3.2 The Agbada Formation......................................................................................................6
1.3.2.1 Biostratigraphic outlook of the Agbada Formation........................................................7
1.3.3 The Benin Formation.........................................................................................................8
1.4 Sedimentological evolution in response to structural developments in the Cenozoic Niger
Delta............................................................................................................................................9
1.5 Oil field structures common in the Niger Delta..................................................................11
1.6 Petroleum habitats in the Niger Delta.................................................................................13
1.7 Petroleum exploration and exploitation history of the Niger Delta....................................13
1.8 Previous palynological work in the study area...................................................................15
1.9 Aim and objective of the present study...............................................................................15

Chapter 2: Material and methods

2. Materials................................................................................................................................17
2.1 Preparation techniques........................................................................................................17
2.2 Microscopic tasks................................................................................................................18



iiiChapter 3: Systematic descriptions

3.1 Pteridophyte and bryophyte spores.....................................................................................19
3.1.1 Monolete spores...............................................................................................................19
3.1.2 Trilete spore.....................................................................................................................24
3.1.2.1 Smooth exine.................................................................................................................24
3.1.2.2 Granulate exine.............................................................................................................30
3.1.3 Alete spores......................................................................................................................36
3.2 Gymnosperm pollen............................................................................................................37
3.3 Angiosperm pollen..............................................................................................................39
3.3.1 Inaperturates and monocolpates pollen............................................................................39
3.3.2 Monoporate pollen...........................................................................................................42
3.3.3 Tricolpate pollen..............................................................................................................43
3.3.4 Tricolporate pollen...........................................................................................................49
3.3.5 Triporate pollen................................................................................................................57
3.3.6 Tetracolporate pollen.......................................................................................................60
3.3.7 Polycolpate pollen............................................................................................................61
3.3.8 Polyporate pollen.............................................................................................................62
3.3.9 Polycolporate pollen........................................................................................................65
3.4 Dinoflagellates....................................................................................................................66
3.4.1 Gonyaulacoids..................................................................................................................66
3.4.2 Peridinioids......................................................................................................................69

Chapter 4: Abundance and distribution patterns

4.1 Introduction........................................................................................................................72
4. 2 Abundance and distribution patterns of Well 4.................................................................74
4.3 Abundance and distribution patterns of Well 6..................................................................77
4.4 Abundance and distribution patterns of Well 8..................................................................80
4.5 Assemblage Zones..............................................................................................................82
4.5.1 Assemblage Zone I...........................................................................................................82
4.5.2 Assemblage Zone II.........................................................................................................83
4.5.3 Assemblage Zone III........................................................................................................83

iv Chapter 5: Palaeoecology and palaeoclimate
5.1 Introduction.........................................................................................................................84
5.2 Palaeoecological consideration of the palynomorph groups...............................................85
5.2.1 Mangrove group...............................................................................................................85
5.2.2 Lower coastal plain group (including swamp species)....................................................86
5.2.3 Savanna to upper coastal plain group..............................................................................87
5.2.4 Montane group.................................................................................................................87
5.2.5 Rain forest group..............................................................................................................87
5.2.6 Marine group....................................................................................................................88
5.2.7 Freshwater algae..............................................................................................................88
5.2.8 The Indeterminate group..................................................................................................88
5.3 Palaeoecological discussions..............................................................................................89
5.4 Palaeoclimate......................................................................................................................90

Chapter 6: Depositional sequence, wetter/drier climate cycles and their
implications to petroleum exploration in the investigated sections

6.1 Depositional sequence of the Agbada Formation...............................................................93
6.2 “Wetter” versus “drier” climate cycles...............................................................................94
6.3 Relationship between climate cyclicity and transgression-regression................................95
6.4 Petroleum exploration implications....................................................................................98

Chapter 7: Age determination

7.1 Age determination...............................................................................................................99

Chapter 8: Discussions and conclusions

8.1 Discussions........................................................................................................................101
8.2 Conclusions.......................................................................................................................103
References cited......................................................................................................................105



v Appendices
Appendix A
List of species..........................................................................................................................117
Tables 2a-c…..........................................................................................................................124
Table 3.....................................................................................................................................133
Appendix B
Plates 1-13










































vi List of figures and tables

List of figures in the text

Fig. 1. Sketch map of Africa and South America.
Fig. 2. Simplified geological map of Africa showing the location of the Niger Delta and some
other Nigerian basins.
Fig. 3a. Map showing the early evolution of the Niger Delta sedimentary Basin,
Albian-Lower Santonian.
Fig. 3b. Map showing the early evolution of the Niger Delta sedimentary Basin, Lower
Coniacian-Lower Eocene.
Fig. 4. Schematic representation of the diachronous nature of major lithofacies on the delta
flanks.
Fig. 5. Map showing the regional elements and depobelts of the Niger Delta and the
successive development of the depobelts.
Fig. 6. Escalator regression pattern and subsidence rates.
Fig. 7. Schematic diagramme to illustrate development of successive depobelts.
Fig. 8. Sketch of the principal types of oilfield structures in the Niger Delta.
Fig. 16. Vegetation belts during relative rise in sea-level.
Fig. 17. Vegetation belts during relative fall in sea-level.
Fig. 19. Structural/depositional model.

List of figures in appendix A

Fig. 9. Lithostratigraphic sections with sample positions.
Fig. 10. Vertical distribution of palynomorphs in Well 4.
Fig. 11. Vertical distribution of palynomorphs in Well 6.
Fig. 12. Vertical distribution of palynomorph in Well 8.
Fig. 13. Quantitative composition of palynomorph assemblages in Well 4.
Fig. 14. Quantitative composition of palynomorph assemblages in Well 6.
Fig. 15. Quantitative composition of palynomorph assemblages in Well 8.
Fig. 18. Stratigraphic ranges of selected palynomorphs outside the study area.

Table in the text
viiTab. 1. Table of formations in the Niger Delta area.
Tables in appendix A
Tab. 2a-c. List of analyzed samples and their palynological status
Tab. 3. List of taxa and their botanical affinities.










































viiiZusammenfassung

Drei Tiefbohrungen (Bohrungen 8, 6 und 4) aus drei verschiedenen Sedimentationsbereichen
(Zentralsumpf I, Küstensumpf I und Küstensumpf II) im Bereich des Nigerdeltas von Nigeria
wurden im Rahmen einer detaillierten palynologischen Studie untersucht. Diese Bohrungen
wurden in den paralischen Ablagerungen der Agbada-Formation abgeteuft. Die angetroffenen
Assoziationen der Palynomorphen werden von terrestrischen Formen dominiert, dennoch sind
organischwandige Fossilien marinen Ursprungs (Dinoflagellaten und die organisch-wandigen
Reste von Foraminiferen) in hinreichender Anzahl vertreten. Bei den untersuchten
Palynomorphen treten die Gattungen der Pteridophyten und Bryophyten-Sporen wie
Laevigatosporites, Verrucatosporites, Perimonoletes, Reticulosporites, Acrostichumsporites
(eine Mangroven-Farn Spore), Crassoretitriletes, Cyathidites, Leiotriletes und
Magnastriatites auf. Die Angiospermen-Pollen sind typisch für das Neogen in tropischen
Bereichen und durch eine hohe Artendiversität in großer Häufigkeit gekennzeichnet. Von
besonderer Bedeutung ist das Auftreten folgender Angiospermen-Arten: Psilatricolporites
crassus, Zonocostites cf. ramonae (Mangroven-Art), Racemonocolpites hians,
Racemonocolpites racematus, Retibrevitricolporites obodoensis, Retibrevitricolporites
protrudens, Pachydermites diederixi, Psilastephanocolporites laevigatus,
Psilastephanocolporites cf. perforatus, Peregrinipollis nigericus, Retitricolporites irregularis
und Retitrescolpites cf. splendens.

Die untersuchen Palynomorphen weisen für die mächtigen Ablagerungen der Sedimente
innerhalb der drei Bohrungen auf eine nur geringe vertikale und laterale Variation innerhalb
eines relativ kurzzeitigen Intervalls des Miozäns hin. Dieser Umstand erschwert eine auf der
stratigraphischen Reichweite der Palynomorphen-Arten basierende Gliederung für die
Agbada-Formation erheblich. Deshalb wird in der vorliegenden Arbeit eine auf
ökostratigraphischen Grundlagen – wie botanische Ähnlichkeiten und quantitative Verteilung
der häufigsten Palynomorphen-Gruppen – basierende Unterteilung verwendet und auf die
Verwendung der qualitativen Verteilung von Leitfossil-Arten verzichtet. Die phyto-
ökologisch bedeutsamen Arten können in fünf ökologische Hauptgruppen unterteilt werden.
Hierbei sind die Mangroven-, Küstensumpf-, Savannen bis Küstenebenen, montanen und
tropischen Regenwald-Gruppen von Bedeutung. Auf dieser phyto-ökologischen
Untergliederung beruhend, können feuchtere und trockenere Zyklen für die drei Bohrungen
rekonstruiert werden. Der Vergleich der klimatischen Zyklen und der lithologischen Abfolgen,
γ-ray Logs interpretiert wurden, ermöglicht für gewisse Bereiche der Bohrungen die aus den
ix