Geological Setting & Hydrocarbon Plays

The Israeli EEZ occupies the central part of the Levant Basin.  This deep marine basin, where water depth reaches up to 2000m, is located in the southeastern part of the Mediterranean Sea, surrounded by the land mases of Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Cyprus. The Levant Basin started to develop in Triassic-Jurassic times through rifting and extension (Gardosh et al. 2008a).  During the Late Cretaceous and Tertiary it became subject to compression and subsidence and was filled by thick succession of clastic sediments and evaporites.The unique geologic history of the Levant Basin is associated with the existence of various types of petroleum systems and hydrocarbon plays (Gardosh et al. 2008b).  The Oligo-Miocene Play includes the giant fields of Tamar and Leviathan where biogenic gas was found in thick succession of deep marine turbidite sands. Smaller but significant amounts of biogenic gas were found in younger, Pliocene turbidite sands in the partly explored Upper Miocene/Pliocene Play.  Shows of very light oil and condensate found in Jurassic carbonates in several wells (Yam-2, Yam Yafo-1) suggest that Mesozoic, organic-rich source rocks are highly mature and are generating oil and gas that charge a Jurassic Play.  These source rocks likely charge the extensive, deep marine turbidite sandstone of the Lower Cretaceous Play, which was not tested yet by drilling in the deep part of the Levant Basin.

The hydrocarbon potential of these plays was recently evaluated through a comprehensive Basin Modelling and Petroleum System Analysis conducted by Beicip-FranLab (2015).  Highlights of this work can be found in the Data Package prepared for the 1st Offshore Bid Round.  The results of the study are highly encouraging, indicating unrisked volumes of 7700 BCM of gas and 26 Billion bbl of oil (P50 in place); and Yet-To-Find volumes of 2100 BCM of gas and 6.6 Billion bbl of oil (P50 in place) in the Israeli EEZ.  The recent discovery of gas in Miocene carbonate in the Zohr Field offshore Egypt, indicates that other hydrocarbon plays and giant traps may still be found in the Levant basin offshore Israel.

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