Hydrocarbon Habitat and Future Exploration in Eastern Europe
SCHUEPBACK, MARTIN ALBERT, Maxus Energy Corporation, Dallas, TX
Eastern Europe can be subdivided into several tectonic units. All of these are productive.
The Pannonian-Carpathian system is controlled by a roll back of a subducted plate resulting in the formation of the Carpathian fold belt and the Pannonian basin. The topography of the Carpathian fold belt was less than an "Alpine-type" fold belt, and is associated with a thicker flysch-dominated foredeep. Hydrocarbons occur in all of these tectonic settings. The Dinarides are considered to be an "Alpine-type" collision-dominated fold belt, but contain no production except in the Durres basin in Albania, which is controlled primarily by major transverse faults crossing the Dinarides. The Balkan fold belt has a multiphase history. Production in the Fore-Balkan is controlled by Late Cretaceous shortening that produced inversion and/or an intracratonic fold belt. The Black Sea area of nor hern Bulgaria and Romania are part of the Moesian platform and contain stable Jurassic and Cretaceous carbonate banks. Production occurs in offshore Romania. The Moesian platform itself is productive in Romania along the Carpathian foredeep. The Southern Permian basin which extends eastward from the southern North Sea into Poland is well known for its giant gas reserves in Rotliegende and Zechstein reservoirs. Overlying the Permian basin are several individual oil and gas producing Mesozoic basins which were inverted during the Late Cretaceous. Their Eastern European equivalent is the Polish trough along the Tornquist line.
The future exploration of Eastern Europe primarily is in underexplored production plays that require application of new technologies and new capital investments. Additionally, new hydrocarbon plays, yet to be realized, await discovery.
The search for new hydrocarbon plays should be initiated by regional studies, and by asking new questions and applying new ideas and concepts. Lately, for example, this has been done in the Pannonian-Carpathian region, resulting in a new tectonic understanding and a much better interpretation of the various hydrocarbon habitats. Similar approaches should be undertaken to evaluate the hydrocarbon potential of other Eastern European basins.
The future of exploration in Eastern Europe is in understanding its complex, compressive tectonic environments.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91007© 1991 AAPG International Conference, London, England, September 29-October 2, 1991 (2009)