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.
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. Sediments are thicker in the western half of the basin.
The government of Mali, one of the poorest countries in the world, is eager to create an oil industry. Companies that have been exploring in the area include Baraka Petroleum, Sonatrach, Eni, Total S.A., Woodside and China National Petroleum Corporation. However, the remote location and harsh environment of the Sahara Desert would make extraction expensive.
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- "Taoudeni Basin Overview". Baraka Petroleum. Retrieved 2009-03-14.[dead link] Baraka Petroleum is bankrupt and the website does not exist any more. The exploration assets are now (2012) in the hands of Eni Group, Woodsite and Sonatrach.
- "ICONS atlas: AFR - Taoudeni Basin". earthbyte.org. Retrieved 2009-03-14.