, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 344-361

The Persian Gulf Basin: Geological history, sedimentary formations, and petroleum potential

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Abstract

The Persian Gulf Basin is the richest region of the World in terms of hydrocarbon resources. According to different estimates, the basin contains 55–68% of recoverable oil reserves and more than 40% of gas reserves. The basin is located at the junction of the Arabian Shield and Iranian continental block that belong to two different (Arabian and Eurasian) lithospheric plates. Collision of these plates at the Mesozoic/Cenozoic boundary produced the Zagros Fold Belt and the large Mesopotamian Foredeep, which is a member of the Persian Gulf Basin. During the most part of the Phanerozoic, this basin belonged to an ancient passive margin of Gondwana, which was opened toward the Paleotethys Ocean in the Paleozoic and toward the Neotethys in the Mesozoic. Stable subsidence and the unique landscape-climatic conditions favored the accumulation of a very thick sedimentary lens of carbonate rocks and evaporites (up to 12–13 km and more). Carbonate rocks with excellent reservoir properties are widespread, while the evaporites play the role of regional fluid seals. Organicrich rocks, which can generate liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons (HC), are present at different levels in the rock sequence.

Original Russian Text © A.I. Konyuhov, B. Maleki, 2006, published in Litologiya i Poleznye Iskopaemye, 2006, No. 4, pp. 385–404.