The Sicily and Malta channel report is finally completed and now available. The report covers the offshore petroleum potential of Southern Sicily, Malta and Tunisia areas based on the collection of public domain, government and corporate geological and geophysical information including the stratigraphy, the tectonic history and the geochemistry of the area.
In the last few years, the Sicily and Tunisia Channel has been object of a resurgence activity and interest both from independent and major oil companies. In offshore southern Sicily, ENI\Montedison has made significant biogenic gas discoveries at Panda, Argo and Cassiopea (reported reserves of 98 MMBOE). In addition, the Northern Petroleum Group has conducted an extensive 3D seismic survey in the offshore thrust zone and expects to drill a well in the next months. BG has developed the offshore gas discoveries at Miskar and Hazdrubal but the recent gas discoveries by Australian independent Audax at Dougga and Lambouka have been the catalyst to renewed interest in the region.
These existing and new exploration developments are discussed and assessed in this report together with their importance to future exploration of the offshore areas of Malta, Tunisia and Italy.
The report is composed by more than 260 pages subdivided in different sections starting from the exploration history in the three areas of Italy, Tunisia and Malta where the occurrence of several and widespread oil seeps both onshore Sicily and onshore Tunisia has demonstrated since the beginning the presence of a working petroleum system.
A stratigraphic reviewed was performed try to find a correlation of the stratigraphic units involved between the offshore and onshore areas of the Sicily and Tunisia sequences from Upper Triassic to Pliocene. More than 40 stratigraphic formations have been described using bibliography, wells and seismic from public data. The high lateral variability of the formations included in the stratigraphic sequences is the result of the complex tectonic evolution that affected this area. The main structures formed as a result of the convergence between the Northern Africa margin and the European plate leading to a complex regional tectonic setting. In this scenario, dense fault networks in the onshore areas allow the emersion of oil seeps that helped in the location of the more efficient source rocks. Geochemistry analysis on these rocks together with a detailed evaluation of the main petroleum systems led to obtained a geographic distribution of the proved and probable plays in the area. Approximately 18 source rocks were geochemically analysed together with the evaluation of more than 800 wells and the classification of 35 fields leading to the identification of 8 plays.
The final part of the report has been implemented with a section dedicated to the existing petroleum plays identified by wells analysis and field discoveries, widely distributed. Furthermore, the report is supplied with a GIS project where distribution maps (facies, plays, domains, paleogeographic setting), wells database, culture and georeferenced data are present.
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