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Egypt in the twenty-first century; petroleum potential in offshore trends

John C. Dolson, Mark V. Shann, Sayed I. Matbouly, Hussein Hammouda and Rashed M. Rashed
Egypt in the twenty-first century; petroleum potential in offshore trends
GeoArabia (Manama) (2001) 6 (2): 211-230


Since the onshore discovery of oil in the Eastern Desert in 1886, the petroleum industry in Egypt has accumulated reserves of more than 15.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent. An understanding of the tectono-stratigraphic history of each major basin, combined with drilling history and field-size distributions, justifies the realization of the complete replacement of these reserves in the coming decades. Most of the increase in reserves will be the result of offshore exploration. In addition to the 25 trillion cubic feet already discovered, the offshore Mediterranean may hold 64 to 84 trillion cubic feet and the onshore Western Desert may contribute 15 to 30 trillion cubic feet in new gas resources. Many of the new fields are expected to be in the giant-field class that contains greater than 100 million barrels of oil equivalent. Challenges include sub-salt imaging, market constraints for predominantly gas resources and economic constraints imposed by the high cost of development of the current deep-water gas discoveries that are probably unique worldwide. The offshore Gulf of Suez may yield an additional 1.5 to 3.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent, but it continues to be technologically constrained by poor-quality seismic data. Advances in multiple suppression and development of new "off-structure" play concepts with higher quality seismic data should result in continual new pool discoveries. Offshore frontier exploration includes the Red Sea rift (currently under reassessment with area-wide 3-D surveys) and the Gulf of Aqaba. Deep-water and sub-salt imaging remain significant challenges to be overcome. Despite a relatively complex history, the Phanerozoic geological framework of Egypt is extremely prospective for oil and gas. Eight major tectono-stratigraphic events are: (1) Paleozoic craton; (2) Jurassic rifting; (3) Cretaceous passive margin; (4) Cretaceous Syrian Arc deformation and foreland transgressions; (5) Oligocene-Miocene Gulf of Suez rifting; (6) Miocene Red Sea opening; (7) the Messinian salinity crisis; and (8) Pliocene-Pleistocene delta progradation. Each of these events has created multiple reservoir and seal combinations. Source rocks occur from the Paleozoic through to the Pliocene and petroleum is produced from reservoirs that range in age from Precambrian to Pleistocene. The offshore Mediterranean, Gulf of Suez and Red Sea/Gulf of Aqaba contain significant exploration potential and will provide substantial reserve replacements in the coming decades.

ISSN: 1025-6059
Serial Title: GeoArabia (Manama)
Serial Volume: 6
Serial Issue: 2
Title: Egypt in the twenty-first century; petroleum potential in offshore trends
Affiliation: BP Amoco Corporation, Egypt
Pages: 211-230
Published: 2001
Text Language: English
Publisher: Gulf Petrolink in Bahrain, Manama, Bahrain
References: 41
Accession Number: 2001-049304
Categories: Economic geology, geology of energy sources
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table, geol. sketch maps
N23°00'00" - N33°00'00", E25°00'00" - E37°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation, EGY, EgyptGulf of Suez Petroleum Company, EGY, Egypt
Country of Publication: Bahrain
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2018, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 200115
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