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Opportunities and risks in the Middle East & the Levant

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Video Presentation


Carbonates in a foreland basin petroleum province: The Zagros margin of the Arabian Plate

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Andy Horbury
Cambridge Carbonates


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Talk Description
The Arabian Plate is justly known as the major hydrocarbon province of the world, and many of its petroleum systems are located in relatively standard although very large, intraplatform basin systems. However the area is unusual in that much of its reserve is located in a carbonate-dominated foreland basin system in younger rocks of Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic age. This is largely attributable to the fact that compression and collision of the Arabian Plate with Eurasia was such a slow process and only became typical of most other fast-subsiding, clastic-dominated and highly compressive foreland basins during the later Neogene. The importance of early foreland evolution lies in the trapping of most clastic input on the NE basin margin, allowing development to the SW of thick carbonate shelf margin reservoirs that offlap laterally through time, into a sediment-starved basin. Carbonate platform growth was interspersed in time and space with areas and periods of tectonic uplift that sometimes provoked shoaling and often the development of secondary karstic porosity. During basin closure there was also an increasing abundance of basin-fill evaporites within the stratigraphy, that come to dominate the depositional system and act as a regional top seal. These events occurred prior to major loading of the basin by the later Neogene clastic infill, which provides significant burial sufficient to promote hydrocarbon migration out of pre-foreland source kitchens.

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