The Raven Story: A Play Fairway Opener in the Nile Delta
Peter Cook1, Jerry Siok1, Hamish Matheson1, Timothy Dodd2,
Dave Cowper1, and Peter Butterworth1
1 BP Egypt, Cairo, Egypt
2 BP, Houston, TX
Egypt has been producing hydrocarbons for over 40 years. From 1994-2004, over 40 TCF of gas has been discovered in Egypt. Much of this success has been in Pliocene systems of the Nile Delta where the seismic response to gas has resulted in high exploration success. Production to date has mostly been in the Eastern Nile Delta from Plio-Pleistocene and Pre-Messinian targets in water depths of 100m. Production in the Western Nile is biogenic gas from the Pliocene in water depths of 500m.
The Western Nile Delta is underlain by Jurassic rift blocks associated with opening of the Mediterranean. The structural setting is characterised by a steep, fault-bounded margin that exerts the fundamental control on deposition of slope canyon systems. The most prominent structural feature is a large SW to NE plunging anticlinorium that extends offshore for 160 km. The Raven discovery is in slope channel systems draped over a 20 km by 10 km anticline on this trend.
Previous exploration success in deep water and petroleum system analysis of the West Nile Delta demonstrated deeper sources of thermogenic gas. On the Raven anticline, improved 3D seismic data allowed definition of internal channel architecture and a potential fluid response in the Lower Miocene section.
The subsequent success at Raven has derisked a significant volume of the Nile Delta's yet to find volumes. The opportunity for export or supply to a growing domestic market means that Egypt is well placed to benefit from a new play fairway in a mature basin.