Geological Exploration in Murzuq Basin

Edited by

  • M.A. Sola, National Oil Corporation, Tripoli, Libya
  • D. Worsley, Saga Petroleum (Mabruk AS), Tripoli, Libya

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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Book information

  • Published: December 2000
  • Imprint: ELSEVIER
  • ISBN: 978-0-444-50611-5


For the first time important new data has been released on an economically important area of Libya.
This is an excellent publication which contains a wealth of new data and which will be invaluable to geologists working on the Murzuq Basin.

(D. Hallett, Consultant), Earth Science Reviews, 2001

The book provides an excellent overview of the geology of this relatively under-explored area.(...)the book is highly recommended to both those interested in this particular frontier exploration area and those dealing with the various specializations.
(T.E. Wong, Institute of Applied Geoscience, The Netherlands), Journal of Sedimentary Research, 2001

Table of Contents

Preface. Acknowledgements. Glossary.Groundwater salinity variations in the cambro-ordovician aquifer of easternJabal al Hasawnah, the Great Man-made River Project, Libya(A. Binsariti, F. S. Saeed). Magnetostratigraphy as a potential tool for correlation in the Murzuq Basinillustrated by an example from the Triassic Snorre Reservoir in the northernNorth Sea (C. Beyer, B. A. Lundschien). Possible structural influence on the genesis of Bir Nagaza (A. Awaynat). Radioactive mineralisation (B. M. Youshah, N. El Hatimi). A palaeontological review of the devonian and carboniferous succession of theMurzuq Basin and the Djado Sub-Basin (M. Mergl, D. Massa). The absolute age of the quaternary lacustrine limestone of the Al MahrúqahFormation - Murzuq Basin, Libya (F. Thiedig, D. Oezen, M. El-Chair, M. A. Geyh). Carboniferous and devonian stratigraphy - the M'rar and Tadrart Reservoirs,Ghadames Basin, Libya (F. Belhaj). The structural development of the Murzuq and Kufra basins - significance for oiland mineral exploration (E. H. Klitzsch). Petroleum source and reservoir rock re-evaluation in the Kufra Basin (SE Libya,NE Chad, NW Sudan) (S. Lüning, J. Craig, B. Fitches, J. Mayouf, A. Busrewil, M. El Dieb, A. Gammud, D.K. Loydell). Geology and hydrocarbon occurrences in the Murzuq Basin, SW Libya (K. Echikh, M.A. Sola). Facies models and sequence stratigraphy of upper ordovician outcrops in theMurzuq Basin, SW Libya (N. McDougall, M. Martin). Ordovician and silurian arthrophycid ichonostratigraphy (A. Seilacher). Seismic signature of the lower member of the Akakus Formation, ConcessionNC2, Ghadames Basin, Libya (A.-E. Shahlol). Palynology of the Upper Tahara Formation in Concession NC7A, Ghadames Basin(A. D. El-Mehdawi). The structure, stratigraphy and petroleum geology of the Murzuq Basin,Southwest Libya (L. Davidson, S. Beswetherick, J. Craig, M. Eales, A. Fisher, A. Himmali, J. Jho, B. Mejrab, J. Smart). Sedimentology and sequence stratigraphy of the devonian to lowermostcarboniferous succession on the Gargaf Uplift (Murzuq Basin, Libya)(J.-L. Rubino, C. Blanpied). Stratigraphy and hydrocarbon potential of the lower palaeozoic succession ofLicense NC-115, Murzuq Basin, SW Libya (A. Aziz). Sedimentology and Cu-U mineralisation of the upper Cretaceous Bin AffinMember, Dur Waddan, Southwestern El Haruj, Murzuq Basin, Libya(A. El-Haddad, A. El-Hodairi, M. El-Chair). The rubidium-strontium geochronology of the Pan-African post-orogenic granitesof the eastern Tibisti orogenic belt, Tibisti Massif, South-central Libya:Application to origin and tectonic evolution (A. A. El-Makhrouf, P.D. Fullagar). Seismic expressions of depositional processes in the upper ordovician successionof the Murzuq Basin, SW Libya (J. Smart). Evidence for soft-sediment deformation - the Duwaysah Slide of the Gargaf Arch,central Libya (T. Glover, K. Adamson, R. Whittington, B. Fitches, J. Craig). The lower devonian succession of the Murzuq Basin - possible indicators ofeustatic and tectonic controls on sedimentation (K. Adamson, T. Glover, R. Whittington, J. Craig). Palaeostress reconstruction and tectonic evolution of the Tataouine Basin (southernTunisia) (S. Bouaziz). Mud-mounds on divergent extensional and transform margins: devonian andcretaceous examples from southern France. (R. Bourrouilh). Late ordovician glacially related depositional systems of the Gargaf Uplift (Libya)and comparisons with correlative deposits in the Taoudeni Basin (Mauritania)(C. Blanpied, M. Deynoux, J.-F. Ghienne, J.L. Rubino). A bibliography of the geology of the Murzuq Basin (D. Worsley). Index.