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International Conference & Exhibition

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History of Petroleum Geology in Georgia


History of Petroleum geology in Georgia can be divided into three parts: from Ancient times until 1929, 1929–1990s (“Georgian Oil” times) and from 1990s to present. Existence of oil in Georgia has been known since Ancient times. Multiple historical documents written by travelers of Middle Ages are found which include records of trading of oil produced in Georgia both in the West as well as in the East. The second and most important era of oil business in Georgia is related to State National Oil Company “Georgian Oil”. Soviet government formed this state organization after it was realized that Georgia had the potential for hydrocarbon exploration and for this the serious geological studies and scientific approach was needed. For petroleum exploration purposes, Soviet experience was applied, as it was soon understood, that geologically, Georgia, been located just south of Greater Caucasus Mountains might have a similar composition to well-known Russian oil fields in Northern Caucasus. Georgia is squeezed between two major orogenic systems: Greater Caucasus (which divides Georgia from Russia/ North Caucasus) and Lesser Caucasus. Between those mountains, the same sedimentary formations are existent which form petroleum systems of the Northern Caucasus. For source rocks Maikop (Oligocene-Lower Miocene), Upper Eocene and Jurassic shales are considered, while Middle Eocene fractured volcanic tuffs, Cretaceous dolomitized limestones and Chokrakian (Middle Miocene) and Upper Eocene sandstones are major productive reservoir rocks. On the one hand, complicated structural geology related to faulting, thrusting and formation of fault-related folds favored the generation of oil in source rocks, it's migration to adjacent reservoir structures and trapping. In the current world this complicated geology requires modern Geophysical, Geological studies to be done followed by modern drilling techniques (application of which has been limited so far) to start understanding the subsurface geology. The presentation will demonstrate several case studies of different Georgian oil fields. Eighteen oil and gas fields were found during this period (Mirzaani, Norio, Satskhenisi, Shiraki, etc.). In 1974, the largest oil field was found – Samgori-Patardzeuli field. The peak production 70,000 bopd, cumulative production of 200MMbbls. Currently nine companies are presented with daily production of around 1,000 bopd.