East Med Deepwater Exploration: In Search Of ‘More Zohr’

Eni’s August 2015 Zohr discovery offshore Egypt could hold the key to unlocking further regional gas riches. ExxonMobil is the latest major to join the search.

Italian firm Eni’s August 2015 Zohr discovery in the Egyptian deepwater, with its 30tcf of gas in place, vies with Israel’s Leviathan, discovered December 2010 by US firm Noble Energy, for the title of the East Mediterranean’s largest gas discovery.

Leviathan and Noble’s other key East Med deepwater discoveries – Tamar the previous year and Cyprus’ Aphrodite in 2011 – were all of ‘lean’ gas (near 100% methane) in Miocene deep-water fan sandstone (clastic) source rocks.

NEW LIMESTONE CONCEPT

But the Zohr discovery came from targeting a totally different geology: carbonate (limestone) rocks of Miocene and Cretaceous age. The Egyptian deepwater had previously been drilled by Shell but this had unsuccessfully targeted the “classical Tertiary clastic play,” which had been responsible for previous discoveries in the Egyptian Mediterranean – all substantially closer to the coast than Zohr (MEES, 27 November 2015).


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