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Impact of Regional 3D Seismic on Understanding Complex Rift-Related Deformation: Southern Gulf of Suez, Egypt

By

 Yasser Badr1, Yasser AbdEl Latif1, Ashraf Elamir1, Ahmed Fouda1, Ibrahim Hanbal1, Ivar Mundal2, Joseph T. Piombino3

(1) GUPCO, New Maadi - Cairo, Egypt (2) BP, Forus, Norway (3) BP, Houston, TX

 The B-Trend of the southern Gulf of Suez, Egypt, is a prolific structural trend with several moderate sized oil fields and significant additional potential. Our current exploration effort is focused on the pre-rift section in rotated, normal-fault bounded blocks.

Previous 3D interpretation in the area were based on several small field-size post-stack depth-migrated 3D surveys. Data quality was hampered by limited aperture and multiple interference which severely degraded the image beneath the shallow, multiple generating, Miocene evaporite section. Steeply dipping fault blocks were very poorly imaged. The interpretation of these datasets emphasized a NE-SW cross fault trend as the main control on individual hydrocarbon pools within in the larger rift-parallel trend.

We recently acquired a regional 3D survey covering the southern Gulf of Suez, and the entire B-Trend. The new survey was both post-stack and pre-stack depth migrated and showed major improvement in imaging compared to previous data, as well as a significantly expanded view of the structural trends away from the existing fields. The new regional interpretation suggests that a N-S fault orientation has significant control on the major structural traps, with less emphasis on the previously identified cross-fault trend. This later interpretation is supported by outcrop observations on the exposed, western rift margin.