--> --> The Tamar Sands of the Deepwater Levant Basin: A World Class Reservoir System

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The Tamar Sands of the Deepwater Levant Basin: A World Class Reservoir System



The 2009 Tamar discovery was the first commercial pre-salt discovery in the Levant Basin and the first in deep water. Additional large discoveries by Noble Energy and partners resulted in more than 40 TCFG in the Miocene Tamar Sands of offshore Israel and Cyprus. The reservoir package is world-class: >30,000 km2 in regional extent, gross interval >250m, high poroperm, and wells capable of flowing >250 MMscfd. We described the diagnostic elements of a relatively sand-rich lobe system that is ‘mega-scale’ based on global comparison of documented systems.

The Levant Basin is a polyphase basin, with major tectonic events that produced regional unconformities and downdip deposition periodically during the Mesozoic and Cenozoic. Additional regional factors drove robust delivery of mature sediments into a relatively unconfined deepwater basin during the early Miocene event: a passive margin to the south with a large ‘mega-cratonic’ hinterland, a proto-Nile drainage system, and a wide continental shelf. Sedimentation was driven by widespread cratonic uplift associated with the Red Sea rifting, and to a lesser extent, the ‘Syrian Arc II’ compression. Deepwater sediment delivery was likely through slope canyons of the adjacent shelfal areas of southern Israel, Sinai and the Nile, with robust channelized system(s) delivering sediments to the basin floor 100's of km downdip of the contemporaneous shelf.

Well penetrations and abundant core provide calibration of depositional facies, petrophysics, and reservoir models. Within the Tamar field, three main reservoir units occur within a 250m gross interval. Both the overall interval and the individual units are sheet-like, maintaining relatively constant thickness over the scale of the field. Each unit is high net-gross, composed largely of massive sand beds, with intervening thin- or medium-bedded heterolithic zones and occasional debris flows. Bed stacking is overall aggradational, with thick, amalgamated sand beds concentrated in the ‘axial’ zones of the ‘proximal lobe’. Heterolithic zones are interpreted as the more distal equivalents, transported to the off-axis fringes. Sands are predominantly very fine, subangular, and poorly sorted. ‘Coarser’ grains are subrounded with occasional inherited quartzose overgrowths which indicate reworked sediments, which in conjunction with a quartz content of >90% supports the proposed provenance from the mature African-Arabian craton.