Levant basin given 122 tcf, 1.7 billion bbl

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Apr. 8
-- The mean undiscovered, technically recoverable resource in the Levant Basin Province in the easternmost Mediterranean region is estimated at 122 tcf of natural gas and 1.7 billion bbl of oil and natural gas liquids.

The US Geological Survey, assessing the province for the first time, put the ranges of producible resources at 50-227 tcf of gas and 483-3,759 million bbl of oil and NGL.

The Levant basin covers 83,000 sq km bounded to the east by the Levant Transform Zone, to the north by the Tartus fault, to the northwest by the Eratosthenes Seamount, to the west and southwest by the Nile Delta Cone Province boundary, and to the south by the limit of compressional structures in the Sinai.

USGS defined three assessment units: The mostly onshore Levant Margin Reservoirs AU with four oil and four gas fields, the offshore Plio-Pleistocene Reservoirs AU with eight gas fields, and the offshore Levant Sub-Salt Reservoirs AU with two gas discoveries, Tamar and Dalit off Israel. Tamar and Dalit were used in the assessment but are so new that there is no independent reference as to their size.

The Plio-Pleistocene Reservoirs AU is thought to be sourced mainly by biogenic gas, but the assessment includes the possibility of thermogenic gas and oil that migrated vertically from subsalt source rocks, the USGS said.

USGS Energy Resources Program Coordinator Brenda Pierce said Levant’s gas resource is larger than anything the survey has assessed in the US.

Compared with Levant, Russia’s West Siberian basin resource is estimated at 643 tcf. The Middle East Rub Al Khali basin has 426 tcf, the Greater Ghawar uplift 227 tcf, and the Zagros fold belt 212 tcf. In the US, the Southwestern Wyoming Province has 85 tcf, the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Province 73 tcf, and the Appalachian Basin Province and the Western Gulf Basin Province of Texas and Louisiana each 70 tcf.

World gas consumption and production were 110 tcf in 2008, including 23 tcf in the US, 17 tcf in Russia, and 4 tcf in Iran, the three largest consuming countries.

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