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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2020-105
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2020-105
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  30 Jun 2020

30 Jun 2020

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal SE and is expected to appear here in due course.

Hydrocarbon accumulation in basins with multiple phases of extension and inversion: examples from the Western Desert (Egypt) and the Western Black Sea

William Bosworth1 and Gábor Tari2 William Bosworth and Gábor Tari
  • 1Apache Egypt Companies, 11 Street 281, New Maadi, Cairo, Egypt
  • 2OMV Upstream, Exploration, 1020 Vienna, Austria

Abstract. Folds associated with inverted extensional faults are important exploration targets in many basins across our planet. A common cause for failure to trap hydrocarbons in inversion structures is crestal breaching or erosion of top seal. The likelihood of failure increases as the intensity of inversion grows. Inversion also decreases the amount of overburden, which can adversely affect maturation of source rocks within the underlying syn-extensional stratigraphic section. However, many rift basins are multi-phase in origin, and in some cases the various syn-rift and post-rift events are separated by multiple phases of compression. When an inversion event is followed by a later phase of extension and subsidence, new top seals can be deposited and hydrocarbon maturation enhanced or reinitiated. These more complex rift histories can result in intra-basinal folds that have higher chances of success than single-phase inversion-related targets. In other basins, repeated inversion events can occur without significant intervening extension. This can also produce more complicated hydrocarbon maturation histories and trap geometries. Multiple phases of rifting and inversion affected numerous basins in North Africa and the Black Sea region and produced some structures that are now prolific hydrocarbon producing fields, and others that failed. Understanding a basin’s sequence of extensional and contractional events and the resulting complex interactions is essential to formulating successful exploration strategies in these settings.

William Bosworth and Gábor Tari

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William Bosworth and Gábor Tari

William Bosworth and Gábor Tari

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Latest update: 01 Dec 2020
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Short summary
Many of the world's hydrocarbon resources are found in rifted sedimentary basins. Some rifts experience multiple phases of extension and inversion. This results in complicated oil and gas generation, migration and entrapment histories. We present examples of basins in the Western Desert of Egypt and the Western Black Sea that were inverted multiple times, sometimes separated by additional phases of extension. We then discuss how these complex deformation histories impact exploration campaigns.
Many of the world's hydrocarbon resources are found in rifted sedimentary basins. Some rifts...
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