--> --> Chasing the Extension of the Prolific Levantine Basin Trend in Offshore Eastern Egypt

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Chasing the Extension of the Prolific Levantine Basin Trend in Offshore Eastern Egypt

Abstract

The Levantine Basin is a rapidly emerging giant gas basin with over 40 Tcf discovered since 2009. The majority of the discoveries are in Mid to Lower Miocene and Oligocene turbidite plays trapped in fault bound structures that have been modified during Syrian Arc compression. To date, the discoveries are located offshore Israel and Cyprus, but the plays extend north into offshore Lebanon and Syria, and south into the eastern most part of the Nile Delta Basin, where the plays remain to be tested. The Nile Delta Basin is a world class gas basin with the most prolific plays in the Pliocene and late Miocene, however discoveries in the past 10 years in the Oligo-Miocene, notably by BP, have opened up the deeper potential of the basin. Like the discoveries in the Levant Basin, the reservoirs are turbiditic slope and fan sands which are sourced from the proto-Nile Delta to the south. The Levant and Nile Delta Basins are both part of the southern Tethyan margin, and have shared the same geological evolution through Mesozoic rifting, passive margin formation, and compression during Syrian arc events. In the postrift, both basins have been filled with deep water clastic sediments and submarine canyon and channel systems are well developed. These mass transport systems are relatively well documented in the Nile Delta Basin, and some models suggest long distance mass transport of sediment from Egypt into the Levantine Basin. Other models emphasize a sediment provenance from the onshore Levant. Either way, the basin boundary is somewhat artificial and underplays the many similarities between the Pre-Pliocene geologic history of the two basins and the likelihood of shared plays in the sub-Messinian sections. Currently there are no tests of the Oligo-Miocene play in the eastern most Nile Delta, which remains very poorly explored compared to the central and western parts. The success across the border in Israel, has however not gone unnoticed, and two large prospective blocks on trend with the Levantine discoveries were awarded in the 2013 EGAS offshore bidround in Egypt. Together the blocks total greater than 5,500 sq km with only one failed test of the Mesozoic carbonate play. Attention is now turning to the Oligo-Miocene play potential as the next phase of exploration in the area begins.