Journal of Petroleum Geology, Vol. 41(2), April 2018, pp 189-214
PETROLEUM SYSTEMS OF LEBANON:
AN UPDATE AND REVIEW
, F. H. Nader
, S. Bou Daher
and W. E. Chbat
This paper presents a new interpretation of the Levant margin, offshore Lebanon, with a
review of Lebanese onshore geology and a new evaluation of the petroleum systems of the
Eastern Mediterranean. Here, we divide the Lebanese onshore and offshore into four domains:
the distal Levant Basin, the Lattakia Ridge, the Levant margin, and the onshore. Each domain
is characterised by a particular structural style and stratigraphic architecture, resulting in
different source-reservoir-trap congurations. This new division draws attention to specic
areas of exploration interest in which there are distinct petroleum systems. Following a review
of previously published data, this study presents new results from stratigraphic, structural and
geochemical investigations. The results include a new interpretation of the Levant margin,
focussing on the carbonate-dominated stratigraphy of this area and its petroleum potential.
New petroleum systems charts are presented for each of the four domains to rene and
summarize the updated geological knowledge.
IFP Energies nouvelles, 1 & 4 Av. de Bois-Préau, 92852
Energy and Mineral Resources Group (EMR), Institute
of Geology and Geochemistry of Petroleum and Coal,
RWTH Aachen University, Lochnerstrasse 4-20, 52056
* corresponding author:
Key words: Levant Basin, Palmyra Basin, Lebanon,
petroleum system, Eastern Mediterranean.
BeicipFranlab, 232 Av. de Bois-Préau, 92502 Rueil-
Lebanese Petroleum Administration, Georges Akouri
Street, Beirut, Lebanon.
** now at: Department of Geosciences and Natural
Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Øster
Volgade 10, 1350 Copenhagen, Denmark.
Lebanon, part of the greater Levant region, is located
on the active NW margin of the Arabian plate, the
margin being largely dened by the left-lateral Levant
Fracture System (LFS) (Fig. 1) (Nader, 2014 a,b).
To the east is the petroliferous Palmyride fold-and-
thrust belt and to the west the stable foreland of the
Levant Basin. Lebanon and the adjacent offshore are
considered to have signicant exploration potential.
This is based on the discovery of more than 70 TCF
of proven natural gas reserves in nearby parts of the
Levant Basin between 2006 and 2015; elds include
Tamar, Leviathan, Aphrodite and Zohr (Fig. 2).
Onshore, in Syria, recoverable reserves are estimated
at about 2.5 billion (B) brl of oil and about 8.5 TCF of
gas, with elds located in the Palmyrides, the Euphrates
graben, and the Sinjar high (Barrier et al., 2014).
Recent exploration successes in the Levant region
have prompted the Lebanese government to acquire an
extensive volume of multi-client 3D seismic data to
aid offshore exploration. An improved understanding
© 2018 The Authors. Journal of Petroleum Geology © 2018 Scientic Press Ltd
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