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Petroleum Prospectivity of Lebanon: An Overview

Nader, Fadi H.1
(1)Geology Consultant, Ministry of Energy and Water, Lebanon, Beirut, Lebanon.

There has been renewed interest in the petroleum exploration in Lebanon, following recent disclosure of new offshore seismic data and new discoveries off the Levantine margin. Results of recent studies indicate that the sedimentary succession offshore Lebanon may include source and reservoirs rocks similar to those in neighboring countries (e.g. Breman, 2006; Roberts and Peace, 2007; Gardosh et al., 2009; Lie and Trayfoot, 2009; Montadert et al., 2010). Offshore discoveries to the south of Lebanon (e.g. Noa, Mari-B, Tamar, Dalit, Leviathan) have confirmed the presence of gas accumulations in subsalt Lower Miocene and Oligocene sandstones in the South Levantine Basin (Tamar and Leviathan may hold more than 24Tcf of gas reserves; Such events led some major petroleum companies to re-evaluate the prospectivity of the eastern Mediterranean region.

This contribution reassesses the petroleum prospectivity of Lebanon (on- and offshore). Used data includes reports completed during and after early onshore exploration (e.g. Renouard, 1955; Beydoun, 1977 and 1981), more recent studies involving regional correlation and diagenesis (Nader and Swennen, 2004), and studies of potential analog reservoirs and source-rocks (e.g. Doummar, 2005; Al Haddad, 2007). Furthermore, the Upper Cretaceous and Cenozoic rock successions, which have been relatively less studied in the past, were subject to a recent nannofossil stratigraphic investigation leading to better time-constraining the Cenozoic structural evolution in Lebanon (Müller et al., 2010). Also discussed are the results of recent offshore seismic surveys (e.g. Roberts and Peace, 2007; Gardosh et al., 2009; Montadert et al., 2010).

The presented conceptual petroleum model incorporates both on- and offshore potential prospects. Offshore plays are highlighted through the discussion of seismic profiles (new PGS 3D seismic data). Here, the focus will be chiefly dedicated to the Oilgocene and Miocene rock units, underlying the Messinian salts. Insights into the prospectivity of Triassic potential reservoir units in onshore central-northern Lebanon are also presented, where the “Qartaba” structure has been investigated.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90135©2011 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Milan, Italy, 23-26 October 2011.