Petroleum Systems and Their Endowments in the Middle East and North Africa Portion of the Tethys
Thomas S. Ahlbrandt, 2014. "Petroleum Systems and Their Endowments in the Middle East and North Africa Portion of the Tethys", Petroleum Systems of the Tethyan Region, Lisa Marlow, Christopher C. G. Kendall, Lyndon A. Yose
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The petroleum endowment of the Tethys corresponds to the Middle East/North Africa region (Region 2) assessed by the USGS (2000). Data as of January 1, 1996, demonstrated this region to rank first in the world for oil and natural gas liquid known petroleum and second for natural gas. New natural gas discoveries in this region through 2012 have raised undiscovered natural gas estimates, particularly for offshore areas of the eastern Mediterranean (Nile Delta, Levant Basin) and Essaouira Basin. This paper emphasizes the total petroleum system (TPS) approach and discusses the global petroleum revolution we are now experiencing. Originally 18 provinces, 28 TPSs, which were subdivided into 46 assessment units (AU), were assessed in USGS (2000). In the last decade these assessed areas have grown to 21 provinces, 31 TPS, and 54 AU through 2012, as discussed here. In the USGS (2000) assessment, the Middle East/North Africa region contributed about 44% of the world’s known petroleum. With the addition of more than 400 TCF of natural gas and more than 10 BBNGL in the region in the last decade, principally in the eastern Mediterranean, this region is preeminent in terms of its endowment of oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids.
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This volume is intended to generate ideas for the future exploration of immature and mature basins across the Tethyan Region. From the Paleozoic to the Cenozoic, the Arabian Plate, North Africa and parts of Southern Eurasia, were on the margin of a series of Tethys seaways, Proto-Tethys, Paleo-Tethys, and Neo-Tethys. These areas evolved together and as a result they have numerous similarities in their tectono-stratigraphic history and petroleum systems. These similarities could be used to extrapolate proven petroleum systems to underexplored areas and lead to hydrocarbon discoveries. The back cover illustrates the countries that evolved along the Tethyan Region in their present day location. Countries covered in this volume are outlined.