Taoudeni Basin Map

Approximate extent of Taoudeni basin

The Taoudeni Basin is a major geological formation in West Africa named after the Taoudenni village in northern Mali. It covers large parts of the West African craton in Mauritania and Mali. It is of considerable interest due to its possible reserves of oil.[1]

The Taoudeni is the largest sedimentary basin in Northwest Africa, formed during the mid-late Proterozoic. It continued to subside until the mid-Paleozoic age, when Hercynian deformation and uplift occurred. It contains up to 6000 m of Late Precambrian and Paleozoic sediments. Exploratory drilling since the 1980s has found indications of petroleum in the Late Precambrian, Silurian and Late Devonian layers.[2] Sediments are thicker in the western half of the basin.[3]

Taoudeni Basin Section

Possible cross-section of central Taoudeni basin<ext><name>ref</name><attr> name=maligov</attr></ext>

The government of Mali, one of the poorest countries in the world, is eager to create an oil industry.[4] Companies that have been exploring in the area include Baraka Petroleum, Sonatrach, Eni, Total S.A., Woodside and China National Petroleum Corporation.[5] However, the remote location and hostile environment of the Sahara desert would make extraction expensive.[6]


  1. ^ Imrich Kusnir (1999). "Gold in Mali". Acta Montanistica Slovaca. Retrieved on 2009-03-14. 
  2. ^ Ibrahim Amadou. "Petroleum assessment of the intrcratonic Taoudeni basin, Mali". CPRM. Retrieved on 2009-03-14. 
  3. ^ Wright, J.B. (1985), Geology and mineral resources of West Africa, London: Allen & Unwin, ISBN 0045560013 
  4. ^ "Mali – A Developing Oil and Gas IndustryA Industry". The Corporate Council on Africa. 2006-12-01.,%20baraka%20petroleum.pdf. Retrieved on 2009-03-14. 
  5. ^ "Taoudeni Basin, Onshore: Mali & Mauritania". IHS. Retrieved on 2009-03-14. 
  6. ^ "Taoudeni Basin Overview". Baraka Petroleum. Retrieved on 2009-03-14. 

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