According to Curray (1991):

Total sediment thickness beneath the [Ganges–Brahmaputra delta] southeast of the hingezone exceeds 16 km...

Considering a normal geothermal gradient and data for oil and gas formation, this suggests that at such the at some point we must have oil and gas reservoirs.

Geothermal gradient

What could be a possible explanation why no such discoveries have been made so far in the region?

Reference: Curray, JR (1991). Geological history of the Bengal geosyncline. J. Assoc. Explor. Geophys. 12, 209–219.

  • $\begingroup$ Well, you need a source rock as well, e.g., the Jurassic and Cretaceous units in the Gulf of Mexico. $\endgroup$ – stali Apr 16 '15 at 1:49

There have been a few discoveries in the Bay of Bengal.

Santos made a gas discovery in 2012, and depending on what you'd call part of the delta complex (all of the Bengal Fan?), there are others. One field, Sangu, saw several years of production, but seems to be shut-in today. Another, Kutubdia, is awaiting development.

It's true though that there have not been many at all, if you compare with some other big deltas, like Niger or the Gulf of Mexico. Blakely (2010) suggested there are border disputes, which definitely slows exploration. I'm just guessing, but there may be other factors, such as regulatory issues, slow government licensing, or political pressures. Reading around, it does seem fair to say that the region has not been fully explored, and clearly there is a working hydrocarbon system.


Blakeley, I (2010). Bay of Bengal. GEO Expro 7 (6). Available online

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