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Book Chapter

The Hydrocarbon Potential of the Arabian Plate

January 01, 1991


The reasons for Middle East (Arabian plate) hydrocarbon abundance, particularly in the main producing basin(s) of the northeast margin (Enclosure 1), have been discussed by many workers specializing in the region. They include Henson (1951), Baker and Henson (1952), Lees (1951, 1953), Law (1957), Weeks (1958), Dunnington (1958, 1960, 1967, 1974), Kamen-Kay (1970), Halbouty et al. (1970), Kent and Warman (1972), Beydoun and Dunnington (1975), Grunau (1977), Riche and Prestat (1979), Murris (1980), Bois et al. (1982) and Beydoun (1986). I recently resummarized them and analyzed the differing views (Beydoun, 1988).

There is little doubt that one of the most important reasons is the fact that prevalent, large areas of high-quality source rocks have been preserved from different intervals of geologic time during the Phanerozoic, and especially during the Mesozoic, over much of the areally extensive northeast shelf, because of high organic productivity related to climate and oceanic circulation (Table 2). The development of juxtaposed source and reservoir facies belts was advantageous, as Dunnington (1974) indicated, because it facilitated expulsion and migration over long distances. Late Tertiary Zagros folding fractured inefficient Mesozoic cover and, aided by reversal of the gradient toward the rising fold front, also later facilitated vertical migration into better, younger, higher reservoirs beneath an excellent Miocene regional evaporitic seal.

Grunau (1977) considered that the main reasons for the petroleum richness of this region—more or less the northeast Arabian margin—lie in the extensive areas of mature source rocks, the huge volume of interconnected pore space within effective closures

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AAPG Studies in Geology

Arabian Plate Hydrocarbon Geology and Potential—A Plate Tectonic Approach

Z. R. Beydoun
Z. R. Beydoun
American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
Marathon International Petroleum (GB) Ltd., London, U.K.
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
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January 01, 1991




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