Regional Stratigraphy and Petroleum Geology, North Africa-Middle East
PETERSON, JAMES A., U.S. Geological Survey, University of Montana, Missoula, MT
The North Africa-Middle East petroleum provinces are part of the broad sedimentary platform that occupied the northern and northeastern borders of the African-Arabian craton adjacent to the ancestral Hercynian (late Paleozoic) and subsequent Tethyan-Alpine oceans. Carbonate-clastic-evaporite sediments of infra-Cambrian through Holocene age were cyclically deposited in a relatively continuous belt around the eastern and northern borders of the craton, mainly on a broad, shallow-water platform adjacent to the proto-Tethys
and Tethys seaway. The Paleozoic section reaches a substantial thickness in the subsurface of the Middle East and in northern Africa adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea, but all or part of it is absent because of nondeposition or erosion over much of the region.
Post-Paleozoic deposition was more or less continuous across the entire craton border region in the Middle East and along the northern border of the Sahara platform in North Africa and in Somalia and eastern Ethiopia. Total thickness of preserved sedimentary-rock cover across this vast shallow-water marine platform and bordering oceanic realm is 6500-33,000 ft (2-10 km) in and adjacent to the Arabian-Iranian basin, 6500-30,000 ft (2-9 km) in and adjacent to northern Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia, and 3500-20,000 ft (1-6 km) in the Horn of Africa (Somalia).
Similar marine and associated sedimentary rock facies are present in all of these regions, although paleotectonic-stratigraphic interrelationships and continental paleolatitude positions have greatly affected petroleum generation and accumulation in the specific provinces along the craton border. A series of regional stratigraphic-sedimentary environment, and continental position, layer maps illustrates the relative influence of these factors through geologic time with respect to the relationship between petroleum reservoirs, source rocks, and confining rock facies.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91004 © 1991 AAPG Annual Convention Dallas, Texas, April 7-10, 1991 (2009)