USGS confirms Levantine Basin prospectivity

The Levant Basin Province in the eastern Mediterranean Sea contains an estimated 122 tcf of undiscovered, recoverable gas, according to a new report by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Offshore staff

WOKING, UK -- The Levant Basin Province in the eastern Mediterranean Sea contains an estimated 122 tcf of undiscovered, recoverable gas, according to a new report by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

This upbeat assessment is the first by USGS to identify viable resources in the basin, and follows a recent study commissioned by Spectrum using multi-client (MC) seismic data acquired and processed in the Levant Basin and surrounding areas.

The majority of Spectrum’s library of MC data over the region was acquired during 2000-2002, and reprocessed in 2008 using both pre-stack time and depth migration. The data spans the entire Levant Basin and according to Spectrum was instrumental in Noble Energy’s Tamar gas discovery last year offshore Israel.

Spectrum’s study identified multiple structural and stratigraphic plays in both shallow and deepwater settings: direct hydrocarbon indicators such as gas chimneys, bright spots and flat spots can be observed on seismic sections.

The company says its depth imaging of the East Mediterranean data can aid evaluation of these plays and could help unlock prospectivity offshore Lebanon, Syria, and Cyprus. One dataset also provides ties into both the Nile Delta offshore Egypt and Turkey's portion of the Mediterranean.

According to USGS estimates, the Levant Basin Province also holds around 1.7 Bbbl of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil.

"The Levant Basin Province is comparable to some of the large hydrocarbon provinces around the world and its gas resources are bigger than anything we have assessed in the United States," says USGS Energy Resources Program Coordinator Brenda Pierce.

Spectrum adds that Cyprus and Syria are both expected to launch second bid rounds in 2010. Both will likely re-tender offshore blocks offered in their initial rounds, which pre-dated the recent gas discoveries, in addition to blocks on offer for the first time.

4/22/2010

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