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  Bemolanga is the name of a large tar sands deposit in the onshore Morondava Basin of Madagascar discovered in the early 1900s.

Madagascar Oil is current license holder of the Bemolanga field. It describes the field as being a giant bitumen field of 8-13ºAPI low sulphur (<1%) and low vanadium ultra heavy oil. It gives the oil resources as:

Oil Volumes billion barrels P-50 2P+3P
Oil in place 16.6n/a
Recoverable reserves n/a9.8

The field is at 0-30 m (0-100 ft) depth and about 120 km (75 mi) from the coast.

13 wells and over 500 core-holes were drilled from the 1950s to the early 1980s. The hydrocarbons are found in the Isalo and Amboloando formations over an area of approximately 400 km² (150 sq mi). The prospective surface mining area is defined by wherever there is less than 40 m (130 ft) depth to top tarsand. The average overburden thickness in the surface mining area is around 15 m (50 ft) (considerably less than average overburden thickness in Canada).

The source rocks for the Bemolanga oil is believed to be the Karoo formation of the Middle Sakamena Shale. The field was lifted to its present near surface location due to the renwed uplifting and seaward tilting of the island of Madagascar during the Tertiary period.

The field is located north of the Tsimiroro heavy oil field and east of the town of Morafenobe.

The Bemolanga field gives it name to the homonymous song by the Malagasy group, Mahaleo.


  1. ^ Data in this table are as per DeGolyer & MacNaughton


  • Madagascar Oil website
  • Bemolanga brochure
  • Pete Jeans (Exploration Consultant)
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bemolanga". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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