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Opportunities in the Eastern Mediterranean

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Friday, September 20, 2019

Video Presentation

Biogenic Gas Systems of the Eastern Mediterranean

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Duncan Macgregor

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Talk Description
This century has seen a surge in biogenic gas discoveries worldwide, particularly in deepwater settings, with fields having been found of much larger scale and therefore of much greater commercial significance than previously found.

This talk reviews and revises the physical and biological models applicable to biogenic gas generation, trapping and preservation with reference to recent discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean, including the Zohr and Tamar fields.

Key success factors are shown to contrast strongly with those for exploration for thermogenic petroleum and include: low seabed temperature and high seabed pressure, low geothermal gradient, a supply of type iii kerogen, high sedimentation rate, early seal compaction and perhaps most crucially of all, syn-sedimentary trap formation. Comparison can be made of these factors between the Zohr and Tamar systems and predicted systems in frontier regions such as Lebanon and Greece.

A key issue affecting field size and therefore commerciality is the often complex relationship between generation and trap formation, which controls degree of trap fill, including the effects of the Messinian lowstand. However, this has the upside that trap volume remains available for thermogenic petroleum generated from deeper source rocks.

The interplay between biogenic and thermogenic systems may thus be a strong control on the commerciality of new fields, which are generally likely to be smaller than the giants found to date.

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