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Petroleum Systems of the Valencia Trough and Provence Basin – their Context in the Tectono-stratigraphic Development of the Western Mediterranean

Matthew D. Booker, Sarah Laird, and Marcus Wiltshire

While the petroleum systems of the Valencia Trough are quite well known, there is currently no hydrocarbon production in the Provence Basin. The tectono-stratigraphic evolution of the two provinces is closely linked. It is therefore possible to use the knowledge of working petroleum systems in the Valencia Trough within the context of the evolution of the Mediterranean as a whole, as an analogue to predict play elements that might be expected in the Provence Basin. Similarities and contrasts between the tectono-stratigraphic evolution and petroleum systems of these two depocentres will be explored with the aid of geodynamic reconstructions and regional paleogeographic maps, all tied to a globally-applicable sequence stratigraphic model. Palinspastic maps can be used to improve understanding of the tectono-stratigraphic evolution of the Mediterranean and can be utilised in conjunction with sequence stratigraphy to predict play elements in the Valencia Trough and the Provence Basin, and ultimately reduce exploration risk.

Although the petroleum systems of the Valencia Trough are quite well known, debate over the oil source for some accumulations highlights the complexities of the system. The Kimmeridgian Mas D’Ascla Formation is the main source rock interval in the Valencia Trough. Early Miocene source rocks associated with a series of globally-recognised highstands are also known. Lateral equivalents of both of these organic-rich intervals can be predicted in the Provence Basin. Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous karstified limestone reservoirs of the Valencia Trough can be correlated with outcrops in the onshore Maestrat Basin and also predicted in the offshore Provence Basin based on regional paleogeographies. The potential of the Ebro Delta and Rhone Delta for biogenic gas accumulations has also been highlighted.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90161©2013 AAPG European Regional Conference, Barcelona, Spain, 8-10 April 2013