--> --> The Way Forward in Developing the Hydrocarbon Resources of the Levant Basin, Offshore Israel

2018 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition

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The Way Forward in Developing the Hydrocarbon Resources of the Levant Basin, Offshore Israel


The southeastern Levant Basin offshore Israel is an emerging, world-class hydrocarbon province. Since the early 2000’s 10 gas fields have been discovered, including the giants Tamar and Leviathan; and recoverable reserves are estimated at more than 30 TCF of gas and 50 MMBL of light oil. However, with only 35 exploration wells that have been drilled the Levant offshore can still be considered as a frontier basin. An integrated basin study and 1D, 2D and 3D modeling exercises, initiated by the Ministry of Energy, reveals the characteristics of the Levant petroleum systems. Two mega-systems are identified: a) A Mesozoic, deep thermogenic system, which is mainly light oil prone, and; b) A Neogene, shallow biogenic gas system. The two systems are largely separated and while the existence of biogenic gas reservoirs is well recognized, no major oil reservoirs have yet been found. The basin study further highlights the potential for new discoveries in both proven and new plays. The Upper Oligocene to Lower Miocene turbidite sands (The gas reservoirs of the Tamar and Leviathan Fields), are likely targets for gas particularly in the less explored, southern part of the Israeli offshore. Lower Cretaceous deep-marine turbidite sand are identified as a new play and may host light oil and gas reservoirs throughout the deep and shallow parts of the basin, below the thick Tertiary cover. Other potential plays are gas bearing Middle-Upper Cretaceous carbonate buildups and shallow-marine platforms, similar to the ones recently found offshore Egypt and Cyprus; as well as Middle Jurassic fractured carbonates where light oil shows had previously been discovered. Yet-To-Find, in place hydrocarbon resources are estimated at 75 TCF of gas and 6.6 BBL of oil (P50). The Ministry of Energy is actively promoting the development of these potential resources. In November 2017 the first Israeli offshore bid round was closed, resulting with six new exploration licenses being awarded. A second offshore bid round is planned to be published in the late part of 2018.