News // Oil and gas worldwide
Offshore oil treasures in eastern Mediterranean sea
04 March 2010 , 12:12Oilonline24414
With industry interest reawakened by recent deepwater, sub-salt gas finds offshore Israel, the eastern Mediterranean and Levantine Basin today loom large on the frontier exploration agenda. Offshore Cyprus and Lebanon are huge unexplored areas in the eastern Mediterranean. This deepwater area is close to proven offshore hydrocarbon provinces in the Nile Delta and Israel. Until recently, shallow post-salt targets have been the main focus in these areas; however, with recent advances in seismic technology sub-salt plays have been revealed. The recent deepwater, sub-salt gas discoveries offshore Israel have significantly increased industry interest in the eastern Mediterranean and particularly the Levantine Basin. High quality Lower Miocene reservoir sands were discovered in both the Tamar and Dalit wells (Figure 1). Analogues to the drilled structures offshore Israel can be found both offshore Cyprus and Lebanon which may prove to be a new province for oil and gas in the next few years.
The Republic of Lebanon is preparing for its first offshore licensing round and anticipates an announcement this year. It is offering oil and gas companies more than 25,000km2 of highly prospective acreage located north of the oil and gas producing areas of Gaza and Israel. The offshore area is covered by extensive 2D – an extension of the recent 2D dual-sensor (GeoStreamer) survey offshore Cyprus – as well as by 3D seismic data. The data reveals several attractive hydrocarbon plays where the primary focus would be in the Miocene sub-salt plays, the Jurassic/Cretaceous horst blocks and Miocene stratigraphic pinch-outs.
The PGS dual-sensor streamer (GeoStreamer) measures both the pressure wave field using hydrophones, and the vertical component of the particle velocity using motion sensors. By combining the data from the two sensors the energy can be separated into up- and down-going parts (Carlson et al, 2007). By considering only the up-going wavefield, the effect of the ghost reflections from the sea surface is removed. When the ghost reflections are removed, the resulting spectrum is flat and broadband thus enabling the user to optimize the data quality, not just for one target depth, but for all depths shallow to deep.
While no wells have been drilled within the study area, the hydrocarbon charge system is interpreted to have potential source intervals in possible Middle Jurassic and Upper Cretaceous- Lower Tertiary and Lower Miocene. The isolated structural setting of the Levantine Basin favours the deposition of source rocks, and it is considered highly unlikely that no source rocks are present in such a thick sedimentary succession. Nearby discoveries in the NEMED block in Egypt, the recent deepwater Lower Miocene Tamar and Dalit discoveries and exploration wells drilled in the shallow water and onshore areas of Israel and Gaza have already proved the presence of a working hydrocarbon system in both the Herodotus and the Levantine Basin. Proven reservoir facies, in the Cenozoic of the eastern Mediterranean, occur in a variety of depositional settings and frequently display god reservoir quality and we believe that there is a strong likelihood that clastic and/or carbonate reservoirs will be present in the current area of interest. Preliminary regional interpretation indicates, among other possibilities, the presence of basin floor fan systems, channel systems and carbonate build ups. The sedimentary basins of the eastern Mediterranean contain a wide range of trapping styles.
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