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The Nile Delta and North Sinai Basins are active geodynamic (high subsidence rate) basins with a thick, clay-dominated Oligocene to Recent sedimentary section. Abnormally high formation pressures have developed in this section and in the underlying pre-Tertiary section primarily due to rapid sedimentation. Secondary mechanisms may be locally superimposed where the Messinian evaporite super seal is present. The abrupt development of pore pressure in the southern part of the Nile Delta is believed to be due to changes in the volume of pore fluids or rock matrix as a consequence of either aquathermal expansion, hydrocarbon generation, or thermal cracking of oil to gas in the lower Miocene-upper Oligocene compartment. Fluid flow in the Nile Delta and North Sinai Basins is mainly due to compaction-and thermal-driven forces.

The sedimentary sequence in the study area is divided into eight pressure compartments, separated by seals, some of which are associated with major unconformities. Four seals are clearly demonstrated in the North Sinai, Early Cretaceous basin and are referred to as: 1) Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous; 2) Aptian; 3) Albian; and 4) Upper Cretaceous-Eocene carbonates. A total of four seals are also recognized in the Nile Delta and are referred to as: 5) Aquitanian-Burdgalian; 6) Langian; 7) Serravalian-Tortonian; and 8) Messinian.

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