The territory of the Republic of Lebanon stretches along the Mediterranean, covering an area of 10,500 square kilometers. It is 200 kilometers long and 75 kilometers in greatest width. Beirut, the capital, is the door of the Middle East through which nearly all traffic passes between the Aarbian peninsula and other countries.

Two of the three pipe lines bringing oil from Iraq and part of the oil produced in Saudi Arabia terminate on the coast of Lebanon. In this land of agriculture, trade, and tourists, roads are numerous and well kept, in spite of rugged topography. No place is more than 15 kilometers from a road open throughout the year.

With the exception of some basalt, all the rocks are sedimentary formations, ranging from (Lower?) Middle Jurassic to Recent.

Paleogeographic conditions, especially thicknesses and facies, show that the region of Lebanon, from its earliest recorded geological history, was a sedimentary basin, whose borders were regions of movement.

Besides possible stratigraphic traps, numerous well closed anticlinal structures, well protected by tight cap rocks, have been described.

Bituminous beds are widespread, mostly high in organic content.

Several evidences of oil have been observed: hard, more or less viscous asphalt, impregnations, gas, and a live oil seep. Most of these evidences suggest deep origin, probably pre-Jurassic.

The characteristic tectonic features resemble block movement. Movement has been vertical, along old lines of tension.

Signs of gentle and slow movements can be seen all along the stratigraphic scale.

Henson (1951) included Lebanon in the “Unstable Platform,” where all the oil accumulations occur in the region extending from Arabia to southwestern Iran.

Only two wells have been drilled for oil. Both found plentiful evidence of oil, and provided data to guide future research.

First Page Preview

First page PDF preview
You do not currently have access to this article.