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Improved Understanding of the Geology and Hydrocarbon Prospectivity of the Eastern Mediterranean, Using a Reprocessed Seismic Dataset

Scaife, Gary 1; Rowlands, David *1; Spoors, Richard 1; Spoors, Sarah 1; Martin, Jim 1
(1) Spectrum Geo Ltd, Woking, United Kingdom.

A large part of the offshore Eastern Mediterranean sea, especially in deepwater, is still considered frontier in terms of hydrocarbon exploration and remains under- explored. However the exploration spotlight is firmly fixed on the region with recent deepwater multi-TCF gas discoveries and the recently announced, highly anticipated offshore hydrocarbon exploration licence rounds.

The main structural elements of the offshore region include the highly prospective Levantine Basin, the Nile delta cone in the south (where successful hydrocarbon exploration has taken place for many years), the Eratosthenes Seamount and Herodotus Basin to the west and the Larnaca-Latakia thrust belt in the north.

The proven deepwater hydrocarbon play in the Levantine Basin has been found to be Tertiary (Miocene and Oligocene) reservoir sands associated with late-stage Syrian arc anticlinal structures, as well as pre-existing basement highs. Potential reservoirs other than the successful Miocene-Oligocene sands are probably restricted to Pliocene/Pleistocene and intra-Messinian sands in the territorial waters of Lebanon. Mesozoic (Cretaceous and Jurassic) sands and carbonates could be a target if at shallower depths (ie inverted/thrusted or on basement highs at drillable depths).

A large regional seismic database covers most of the Eastern Mediterranean region providing explorationists with a complete overview of the structural elements in the region. In excess of 12,000km of PSTM 2D data has been reprocessed, guided by the original Interpretation ensuring a substantial imaging uplift. An essential element of the reprocessing has been the emphasis on AVO compliance and amplitude preservation. AVO analysis and Inversion techniques have been undertaken on the successful discovery structures and extended across the area to look for analogues. The results are presented as part of this technical paper.

The newly reprocessed data has improved the imaging of both shallow and deeper sedimentary sections (both near shore and deepwater), allowing explorationists to map horizons with improved confidence and further understand basin architecture. Seismic reprocessing has also improved regional fault definition in shallow and deep-rooted fault systems, the understanding of which is considered essential in both the deposition and distribution of the proven Oligocene and Miocene sand reservoir fairways, as well as providing possible hydrocarbon source conduits.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90141©2012, GEO-2012, 10th Middle East Geosciences Conference and Exhibition, 4-7 March 2012, Manama, Bahrain