Approximately 47000 line kilometres of 2-D seismics has been acquired along the west coast margin of South Africa. From this data and a limited number of boreholes an understanding of the tectonic and depositional history has been derived for this Atlantic divergent plate margin. Drilling results on the shelf area have had sufficient merit to establish the significance of this region as a hydrocarbon province. Aspects of the petroleum geology and the exploration techniques applied are discussed together with examples of typical trap types. Guided by inference from geochemical, seismic and gravity studies, exploration has recently moved into deep water areas where the potential exists for the future discovery of significant hydrocarbon reserves.


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