As a result of petroleum exploration east and south of Massawa, Ethiopia, a review of local geologic features indicates the structural aspects of this distinct bend of alinements along the Red Sea coast. The Buri Peninsula holds a horst bounded on the west by a deep faulted corridor. To the east and northeast of the Buri high trend the Dahlak salt basin occurs, where deep faults seem to have initiated salt diapirs. Aeromagnetic information suggests a deepening of the magnetic basement toward the southwest where over 5000 m of sedimentary section is expected to occur opposite a shallow faulted belt near the coast. Conclusions: (1) a narrow passage extending south of the Gulf of Zula once connected the Red Sea with the Danakil depression, (2) a positive Precambrian trend on the Buri Peninsula continues the Danakil horst to the northwest until it plunges into the Bay of Massawa, and (3) results of deep exploratory drilling provide data for recognition of the extensive Dahlak salt basin.