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Abstract

Across the west Nile Delta, channel complex, channelized lobe, and channel-levee turbidite reservoir systems were deposited throughout the Pliocene following the Messinian salinity crisis and the reestablishment of a muddy depositional slope on the Nile Delta cone. Commercial gas discoveries driven by seismic amplitude anomalies in all of these different turbidite reservoir architectures (Ruby, Fayoum, and Giza fields) are dispersed around the modern day Rosetta Canyon, in water depths ranging from 300m to 900m.

Structurally, the west Nile Delta (WND) is characterized by steep, fault-bounded margins which exerted a fundamental control on the stratigraphic position and fill of slope canyon and channel systems in the Pliocene play fairway. Syndepositional slope collapse has had a significant impact on the development of these slope reservoir systems. The Giza Field gas accumulation is an upper-slope channel complex set characterized by a 160m erosional confinement within a 2.5km wide fairway draping a 20 X 10 km wide plunging anticline, setting up a combination structural-stratigraphic trap. Down slope, the Giza channel complex set can be tracked for a distance of >100 km into a constructional levee confined system on the lower slope.

Visualization of the internal geometry of the Giza channel complex set is based on 3D multiazimuth (MAZ) seismic data tied to extensive conventional core data recovered from both the exploration discovery well and a subsequent appraisal well. The high resolution seismic, combined with log- and corescale observations, provide spectacular insights into the gross seismic architecture, internal geometry, and stacking patterns of the Giza channel complex set.

This paper will demonstrate the facies change and channel geometry variation with the Giza channel reservoir fairway, from incision and bypass, to the initial backfill within a low sinuosity aggradational stacked channel phase, to a more sinuous constructional channel levee fill style having ‘levee lobes,’ to ultimate channel abandonment. Fundamental controls on sedimentation patterns are controlled by a combination of a basin-bounding tectonic control on sediment input points, mass transport processes on the slope generated (generation of accommodation space for precursor lobes), and a deep seated intrabasinal tectonic control that has episodically generated subtle, emergent topography, which has, in part, controlled channel element sinuosity and net to gross.

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