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Pre-Messinian Petroleum Systems and Trap Style in the Offshore Western of Nile Delta; An Integrated Geological and Geophysical Approach


Exploration in the offshore Nile Delta province has revealed several hydrocarbon plays. Deep marine Turbidites is considered one of the most important plays for hydrocarbon exploration in the Nile Delta. These turbidites vary from submarine turbidite channels to submarine basin floor fans. An integrated exploration approach was applied for a selected area within West Delta Deep Marine (WDDM) Concession offshore western Nile Delta using a variety of geophysical, geological and geochemical data to assess the prospectivity of the Pre-Messinian sequences. This paper relies on the integration of several seismic data sets for a new detailed interpretation and characterization of the sub-Messinian structure and stratigraphy based on regional correlation of seismic markers and honoured the well data. The interpretation focused mainly on the Oligocene and Miocene mega-sequences. The seismic expression of stratigraphic sequences shows a variety of turbidite channel/canyon systems having examples from West Nile delta basin discoveries and failures. The approach is seismically based focusing on seismic stratigraphic analysis, combination of structure and stratigraphic traps and channels interpretation. Linking the geological and geophysical data together enabled the generation of different sets of geological models to reflect the spatial distribution of the reservoir units. The variety of tectonic styles and depositional patterns in the West Nile delta provide favourable trapping conditions for hydrocarbon generations and accumulations. The shallow oil and gas discoveries in the Pliocene sands and the high-grade oils in the Oligo-Miocene and Mesozoic reservoirs indicate the presence of multiple source rocks and an appropriate conditions for hydrocarbon accumulations in both biogenic and thermogenic petroleum systems. The presence of multi-overpressurized intervals in the Pliocene and Oligo-Miocene Nile delta stratigraphic column increase the depth oil window and the peak oil generation due to decrease of the effective stress. Fluids have the tendency to migrate from high pressure zones toward a lower pressure zones, either laterally or vertically. Also, hydrocarbons might migrate downward if there is a lower pressure in the deeper layers. Well data and the available geochemical database have been integrated with the interpreted seismic data to identify potential areas of future prospectivity in the study area.