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Petroleum Geology of Libya, 2E

Using a genetic, process-oriented approach, viewers are introduced step-by-step to the various depositional phases and their underlying driving mechanisms. The film is suitable as teaching material in Libyan and international academic institutions and will also help professional geologists working on southern Libyan petroleum and water projects.

Furthermore, the film will give non-geologists an idea of the geological background in the area, among them decision makers from the petroleum and water industry, Libyan nationals interested in the earth history of their home country as well as tourists. A large selection of geological field photographs from Southern Libya has been uploaded into a dedicated flickr online photo album. To retrieve the full-resolution pictures, click on the photo in the overview, and on the next screen click the "all sizes" button.

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Feel free to use these pictures in your exploration presentations and research projects, but please reference the respective author mentioned in the photograph's caption or the seven-continents. It included stunning scenescapes, close-ups of outcrops, plate reconstructions and seismic examples. Experts appearing in the film. Due to the arid climate, Palaeozoic outcrops in southern Libya are widespread and often spectacular.

In many cases economically important horizons from the subsurface can be studied in greater detail in surface exposures. The visualisation of these topics in a popular video format is believed to help geologists and non-geologists to better understand the basic principles of the southern Libyan geology and by this increase efficiency of their activities in the region. An introduction to field outcrops is particularly needed, as only few geologist may get the chance to visit these sites themselves.

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For some geologists the standard wireline log "wiggles" may suddenly turn into something more meaningful, enhancing their geological creativity. Palaeozoic sedimentation was controlled by a series of characteristic sea-level and climatic changes. A better understanding of the general depositional scheme helps with facies and thickness predictions in southern Libya.

Here some of the more important developments to be featured in the film: Following the Pan-African amalgamation, Infracambrian extensional structures opened up in various parts of the northern Gondwanan region, including a deep rift in the southern Kufra Basin. Around the same time, rich hydrocarbon source rocks were formed in Oman in a similar setting. In most parts of southern Libya , however, sedimentation commenced in the late Cambrian Hasawnah Fm. Sedimentation stayed within a similar facies for the early to mid Ordovician, partly with abundant burrowing activity.

During the late Ordovician a major glaciation occurred which led to deep incision into the middle and early Ordovician strata. During a subsequent sea-level rise these depressions were flooded and shales with glacial dropstones were formed Melez Shuran Fm.

Position Description - Oil and Gas Petroleum Geology and Petroleum Geologists

Divided into eight parts, it commences with a historical review of Libyan petroleum exploration after the discovery of oil in a water well near Tripoli in , followed by the story of petroleum exploration, detailed decade by decade down to the post-Qaddafi period. However, when oil exploration began each company developed its own nomenclature for the rocks in its concessions.

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Barr and Weegar attempted to synthesize this chaotic stratigraphy. Hallett and Clark-Lowes bravely try to integrate these earlier stratigraphic terms with the Libyan Stratigraphic Code of the Qaddafi era, which itself had confused non-Arabic speakers and older geologists by changing the spelling of many of the stratigraphic terms and place names and over the years renaming some of the fields. In this book it is used both as a stratigraphic term and as a facies and is applied to rocks that range in age from Triassic to Albian.

Geology of Southern Libya

The authors helpfully guide the reader through this terminological fluxoturbidite of Libyan stratigraphic and topographic nomenclature. Part 4 describes the geological structure of Libya, detailing the evolution of the Murzuk, Kufra, Sirt and Ghadames Basins and the arches that delineate them. These descriptions usefully extend into Tunisia, Algeria, Niger, Chad, Sudan and Egypt, and into the offshore Mediterranean basins; page describes how the US Navy bombed a sea mount — the first hostile sea mount in history?

The structural evolution is based on an extensive database of wells and outcrop sections, but does not integrate these data with the paleocurrent studies that have thrown much light on the complex evolution of the Kufra and Murzuk Basins.

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Part 5 describes the geochemistry of Libyan source rocks, proven and potential, sequence by sequence and basin by basin, illustrating how far this branch of petroleum geoscience has advanced. Integrating the previous two chapters, Part 6 delineates the petroleum systems and play fairways of the Murzuq, Ghadames, Sabratah and Sirt Basins — intellectually one of the most challenging and worthwhile parts of the book. Part 7 describes the 15 major fields of Libya and Part 8 speculates on future petroleum exploration potential.

Perhaps wisely, it omits any speculation about the potential for unconventional hydrocarbons such as shale gas and oil. The book contains many full color illustrations, though perhaps fewer seismic lines than one might have expected, probably for reasons of client confidentiality.


Most of the figures are from previously published work, but some come from Nubian Consulting reports. It concludes with a comprehensive bibliography and index. The former seems to include every paper ever published on Libyan petroleum geology, together with a number of unpublished oil company reports that presumably still survive in a few company offices, veneered by Saharan dust. The Petroleum Geology of Libya is essential reading for anyone brave enough to explore for petroleum in this resource-rich country.

This book may be a greater monument than the authors and readers realize.