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New Oil in a Mature Basin: The Edfu Discovery, Suez Rift, Egypt


Jay C Thorseth1, David A Pivnik1, Khaled Ebeid2, Saber Sakr2, Emad Gad2

(1) BP-Gupco, Cairo, Egypt (2) Gupco, Cairo, Egypt

 Advances in 3D seismic processing coupled with a detailed fault-seal evaluation allowed us to identify and test a new lead in a proven structural trend in the Gulf of Suez, Egypt. The Edfu prospect was interpreted as an up-thrown, 3-way closure on a normal-fault bounded block south of Ramadan Field and west of the giant El Morgan Field. The Nubia Sandstone, which contains approximately 3 billion of the 9 billion barrels of oil produced in the Gulf of Suez, was the main target. Many Gulf of Suez oil fields consist of this trap-reservoir combination, however exploration of this play type had limited success in the last 10 years.

Previous work (vintage 1980’s and early 1990’s) utilized 2D seismic data and post-stack migrated 3D data. Recently, we have reprocessed our 3D data using multiple removal techniques and pre-stack depth migration. As a result, the Edfu prospect emerged from what had previously been mapped as a structural low.

Our regional evaluation determined that seal was the dominant failure for other wet Nubia structures, so a competent seal was required to trap significant oil volumes. Detailed seismic mapping showed the Nubia in the footwall was fault-juxtaposed against Eocene carbonate and Miocene shale in the hanging-wall. Petrology, petrophysics and shows analyses confirmed that these zones should be good sealing facies. The Edfu well found oil in the Nubia and other horizons, and was our first discovery of this kind in the Gulf of Suez in 13 years.