USGS: Nile Delta is big gas-liquids province

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, May 18
-- The Nile Delta contains an estimated 223 tcf of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas and 5.9 billion bbl of natural gas liquids, the US Geological Survey said May 18.

The province also contains a mean 1.7 billion bbl of oil, the survey said.

In April, USGS said the Levant basin, which borders the Nile Delta on the east, contains 122 tcf of gas and 1.7 billion bbl of oil (OGJ Online, Apr. 19, 2010).

“Taken together,” USGS said, “the Nile basin and Levant basin assessments establish the eastern Mediterranean region as having world-class potential for undiscovered natural gas resources.”

The recent assessment takes in the Nile Margin Reservoirs Assessment Unit, lying onshore and nearshore in northern Egypt with numerous discoveries, and in deeper water the Nile Cone Assessment Unit. USGS didn't assess the Mediterranean Ridge Assessment Unit, between Egypt and western Turkey, or the Eratosthenes Seamount Assessment Unit south of Cyprus.

The two assessed units contain more than 100 gas fields and three oil fields.

“By far, the largest resource is estimated to be in the Nile Cone AU, with a mean volume of 217 tcf and 5.7 billion bbl of NGL,” USGS said. That area is in deeper water and less drilled than the Nile Margin Reservoirs AU.

Undiscovered, technically recoverable resources are those that have yet to be discovered, but if found, could be produced using currently available technology and industry practices.

By comparison, USGS estimated 643 tcf in Russia's West Siberian basin, 426 tcf in the Rub Al Khali basin, 227 tcf in the Greater Ghawar uplift, and 212 tcf in the Zagros Fold Belt.

The Nile Delta is larger than anything USGS has assessed in the US, where it estimated 85 tcf in the Southwestern Wyoming Province, 73 tcf in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska Province, and 70 tcf each in the Western Gulf Basin Province of Texas and Louisiana.

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