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Zeit Bay Field, Gulf of Suez: A Complex Giant Structural-Stratigraphic Trap

F. A. Sultan, S. Hafez, I. Moftah, H. Anton

The Zeit Bay field, located at the southwest margin of the Gulf of Suez, contains oil reserves estimated at 600 million bbl in place, as well as significant volumes of gas. Oil is contained in fractured crystalline basement rocks, in reworked or weathered basement wash, in Nubian Sandstone of Paleozoic and/or Cretaceous age, and in Kareem-Rudeis carbonate rocks of early to middle Miocene age. Structure at Zeit Bay is a faulted northwest-trending anticline, but distribution of reserves on the structure is strongly controlled by stratigraphic complexities. Nubian Sandstone is truncated by pre-Miocene tilting and erosion, and is limited to the southwest flank of the structure. Kareem-Rudeis carbonates, mostly dolomitized, also are best developed as reservoir on the southwest flank of the field and change to anhydritic nonreservoir facies to the northeast over the crest of the structure.

Efficient and optimum recovery of reserves depends primarily on geologic interpretation of the reservoir complexities. Each reservoir has different properties and distribution, ranging from fractured basement under the crest of the structure to cross-stratified Nubian Sandstone and dolomitized vuggy Kareem-Rudeis carbonate on the western flank. Spacing and location of wells are aimed at using natural depletion and gas reinjection along the crest for maximum recovery.

The Zeit Bay field provides a useful model to be used in exploration for and development of other fields that undoubtedly are hidden under thick evaporites in this area.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91043©1986 AAPG Annual Convention, Atlanta, Georgia, June 15-18, 1986.