The Murzuq Basin is a large intracratonic sag basin located in
southwestern Libya. Exploration efforts started in this vast and
remote Saharan region already in 1957 and 60 exploratory wells have
been drilled to date, resulting in over 20 discoveries with around
4,000 million barrels of oil in place. Most discoveries have been
made in Ordovician sandstone reservoirs sourced by hot shales of
the Lower Silurian Tanezzuft Formation. Oil is already being
produced and exported from the area, but the basin's total
hydrocarbon potential is still poorly understood. Recent
exploration - especially the major discovery and initial
development of the Giant Elephant Field - has greatly increased
interest for the area's potential. Many petroleum geologists and
companies now believe that the basin may well develop into a new
major hydrocarbon province which will significantly contribute to
Europe's energy needs in the next decades. This book presents
papers from a conference held at Sebha University - on the eastern
margins of the Murzug Basin - in September 1998.
The book continues an ongoing series of presentations of the
geology of Libya, but the 25 contributions herein mostly centre on
the Murzuq Basin itself and on nearby areas. There are still many
unresolved questions in terms of geological and hydrocarbon
exploration in these difficult desert areas, but the papers herein
will hopefully present a first comprehensive overview of an
exciting frontier exploration region. About half of the papers are
directly related to hydrocarbon exploration, and to source rock and
reservoir development, but a wide variety of other features are
also described, ranging from palaeontology and biostratigraphy to
ore geology and water resources, covering the entire geological
column from the Precambrian to the Holocene. The book concludes
with a bibliography covering all geological aspects of this
challenging but very promising frontier area.
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