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AAPG Africa Region, The Eastern Mediterranean Mega-Basin: New Data, New Ideas and New Opportunities

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Integrated Stratigraphic, Thermal/Burial and Uncertainty Modeling of the Levant Basin (East-Mediterranean Region)


An integrated workflow for modeling sedimentary basins including source to sink stratigraphic forward simulations, thermal and burial evolutions and uncertainty analyses, has been designed and applied on the frontier Levant Basin in the East-Mediterranean region (model covering around 200,000 sq. km, with horizontal cells grid resolution of 5 sq. km and less than 50m thick). The objective of this workflow is to produce reasonable multi-scenario simulations and probabilistic information that can help make sound decisions for less risky hydrocarbon exploration. A variety of numerical tools on a unique software platform (as well as concept-thinking) were fundamental for reaching the set objective. The following steps were achieved: i) characterization and integration of geological, geophysical and geochemical data (leading to conceptual models); ii) sedimentary facies modeling (with stratigraphic forward numerical engines); iii) structural characterization and modeling (deformation, inversion and faults); iv) burial/thermal and petroleum systems modeling; and v) uncertainty analysis and modeling (risk management). Stratigraphic forward modeling allowed the assessment of multi-scenario GDE maps across the basin and the examination of the associated parameters. Sediment tracking provide a better investigation of reservoir play fairways (from input source to sink). Such facies distribution models (reservoirs, source rocks, seals) played a crucial role for evaluating the potential petroleum systems (maturation, expulsion and trapping of hydrocarbon) through integrated thermal/burial and uncertainty modeling. Risk management was achieved by generating probability maps for the principal Mesozic and Cenozoic play fairways, potential source rocks, and critical elements of petroleum systems of the Levant Basin. The proposed workflow and numerical solutions can be applied on other similar frontier hydrocarbon provinces that are also characterized by a general lack of substantial data.