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Arabian Platform Tectonic Events and Their Exploration Applications


Mohammad I. Faqira1, Khalid M. Shokair1

(1) Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

 The long offset 2D seismic data (7,200 m) along with the Deep Gas wells were a great help to understand the giant oil and gas fields growth history in the Arabian Platform. The Arabian Platform underwent six major tectonic events; each one has had a significant impact on oil and gas Field development throughout geologic history. These tectonic events were the principle contributors to trap geometry, timing and reservoir development of the giant structures.

These tectonic events are: 1) The Pre-Cambrian extension event, which has been documented seismically by the Infra-Cambrian Basins all over the Arabian Platform. These basins have a proven petroleum system in Oman., 2) The Hercynian Tectonics, represented by E and SE regional tilt in addition to NE-SW compressional forces, which resulted in NW-SE Haradh-Jawb trending growth structure. Stratigraphic and fault bounded traps could be controlled by this event., 3) The Permo-Traissic growth, which was the initiator of the Arabian Platform giant structural traps and contributed significantly to the development of the reservoir facies over these giant structures., 4) The Late Triassic NNW tilt, which developed a major basin in the Dibdibah Trough. This frontier basin has a great exploration gas potential especially with the relative deep targets (13,000 to 16,000 feet), and 5 and 6) The Upper Cretaceous and Neogene’s NNE tilt, which formed the final hydrocarbon traps for Arabian Platform structures.