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Reducing Exploration Risk Within the Caspian and Black Sea Regions


Vincent, Stephen1, Clare Davies1, Irene Gomez-Perez1, Andrew Morton2, Christine Brouet-Menzies1 (1) CASP, Cambridge University, Cambridge, United Kingdom (2) HM Research Associates, Loughborough, United Kingdom



Hydrocarbon basins of the Caspian and Black Sea regions are in varying stages of explo­ration and development. The South Caspian has proven reserves with an active extraction programme, while the Eastern Black Sea and Central Caspian contain plays that are current­ly being tested. Despite their varying maturity, geologic uncertainties in all these basins hamper exploration efforts and need to be addressed.

One of the critical risks in all these basins is reservoir presence and quality. In the South Caspian Basin, petrographically mature sandstones derived from the Russian Platform form the producing reservoirs. Yet even in this relatively mature basin more data are required to understand the complex interplay between this system and more locally sourced, lesser quality sand systems that prove to be uneconomic. Greater uncertainty exists still in the Central Caspian and Eastern Black Sea basins as to whether Russian Platform sourced depo­sitional systems exist and whether they form economic targets.

This paper documents how the use of field-based sedimentological, petrographic, heavy mineral sandstone provenance, thermochronometric and biostratigraphic studies can form an effective way of reducing some of these exploration and other risks in the South and Central Caspian and Eastern Black Sea regions.