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A New Understanding of Basin Distribution and Architecture in Egypt Revealed by the Application of Non-seismic Exploration Techniques


Peter G. Stuart-Smith1, Jon Teasdale2, Karen Romine2, Lynn Pryer2, Tom Loutit2

(1) SRK Consulting, Deakin West ACT, Australia (2) SRK Consulting,

 A new view of the onshore and offshore basins of Egypt has been the result of two recent projects (EARS and MARS)* based on a combination of mineral and petroleum exploration techniques. Understanding basement composition and structure and the tectonic evolution of each basin were the focus of the studies, involving the systematic calibration, integration and interpretation of non-seismic, principally magnetic and gravity data, with seismic datasets. The results demonstrate that potential field data when rigorously integrated with seismic and other datasets are cost-effective and efficient tools in remote areas at both regional and concession scale.

Proterozoic and Pan-African metamorphic and igneous basement terranes and structural elements control the distribution, size and geometry of Paleozoic and Mesozoic basins. Terrane boundaries and major NW-trending Pan-African shear zones provide the principal control on basin distribution and geometry, with basement composition and structural fabric controlling individual basin architecture. Egypt’s basins can be grouped according to the “character” of the underlying basement into five groups: Western Desert, Nile River Basins, Gulf of Suez/Red Sea, Sinai and the Eastern Mediterranean. The results of the study provide a consistent base for volumetric assessments and a knowledge platform for designing exploration and acquisition strategies. The studies have also resulted in an improved understanding of the distribution of source-rock, reservoir and basement-involved traps, and can be used to predict first-order fluid flow directions, river drainage and sediment composition across the basins of Egypt.

*EARS - Egypt Area Regional Study (Apache Egypt, BP Egypt, IEOC, Repsol-YPF, Shell Egypt and SRK Consulting) *MARS - Mediterranean Area Regional Study (BP Egypt, Apache Egypt and SRK Consulting)