Abstract

When it comes to the Mediterranean, the figure of Odysseus, as the archetypal “explorer”, may spring to mind. The Mediterranean region represents an incredibly colorful region, not only from a historical and cultural perspective, but also from a hydrocarbon exploration point of view. Located between Europe, Africa, and the Near East, this region also has a long history of geological and geophysical activities. During the last few decades, a few segments of the Mediterranean became significant from an exploration and production point of view, the most important example being the Nile Delta of Egypt. Some segments have numerous offshore oil and gas fields (e.g., Libya or Croatia) but with a much smaller contribution to the petroleum production of the entire Mediterranean. One reason to have a TLE special section dedicated to this region is the exploration breakthrough happening in the Israeli sector of the eastern Mediterranean. Large, multi-TCF gas accumulations (e.g., Leviathan and Tamar) have been found in the deep-water Levantine Basin. The biogenic gas is reservoired in Miocene turbidites, in large inverted structures beneath the Messinian evaporite sequence. The sheer size of these recent discoveries (total recoverable reserves of about 40 TCF!) made the broader Levantine Basin an emerging major petroleum province, just in the last few years.

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