AAPG GEO 2010 Middle East
Geoscience Conference & Exhibition
Innovative Geoscience Solutions – Meeting Hydrocarbon Demand in Changing Times
March 7-10, 2010 – Manama, Bahrain
Tertiary Petroleum Geology of the Southern Mediterranean: A Regional Correlation from Northern Tunisia to the Levantine Basin
(1) Neftex Petroleum Consultants Ltd, Abingdon, United Kingdom.
The Tertiary petroleum system of the southern Mediterranean has resulted in major discoveries that can be placed in the context of the sequence stratigraphy scheme developed by Sharland et al. (2001) for the Arabian Plate and further updated by Simmons et al. (2007) (with some further modifications). Throughout Tertiary times significant falls in sea-level driven by eustacy have been identified, as have associated lowstand deposits that can be correlated regionally.
The Nile Delta is proving to be a world class hydrocarbon province with an abundance of potential source rocks within the Lower Miocene, Oligocene and possibly the Mesozoic. The most prolific plays to date are associated with Pliocene reservoirs, which can be linked to a latest Messinian sea-level fall. In the adjacent Levantine Basin, the Mari B Field gas discoveries offshore Israel have been made in Pliocene sediments that also correspond to the same lowstand described offshore Egypt. Another important play is within the Miocene, constituted by submarine sandy fans related to a sea-level fall recorded in the Langhian and Messinian of the Nile Delta (Ng 30 and Ng40 SB).
Other potential plays have been postulated, especially those associated with Oligocene lowstand and transgressive sediments that display good reservoir quality within the Satis oilfield. Elsewhere in North Africa this play is of interest, especially offshore Northern Tunisia where the deepwater turbidites of the Numidian Flysch (Late Oligocene to Early Miocene; Pg50 and Ng10 SB) exhibit excellent reservoir potential and are a proven play in Sicily.
Finally, the offshore Sirt Basin is a promising frontier basin, and as with the Nile Delta, the Messinian lowstand is an important time for reservoir and seal formation. The palaeo-Sahabi river system drained from Lake Chad in to the offshore Sirt Basin during the Zeit Wet Phase. This river system has left a significant erosional imprint on the east flank of the Tibesti and near the coast of the Gulf of Sirt, which indicates a large sediment supply during this time creating large lowstand fans and delta deposits in the offshore Sirt Basin.