3D thermal history and maturity modelling of the Levant Basin and its eastern margin, offshore–onshore Lebanon
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In the last decade, the East Mediterranean Levant Basin has become a frontier hydrocarbon province. Several gas discoveries have been recorded in Miocene reservoirs offshore Israel, and seismic data suggest promising prospective plays in deeper intervals throughout the basin. Source rock quality, quantity, and distribution as well as thermal history are hitherto not well constrained, especially in the deep offshore. In this study, we present new source rock information from Jurassic to Paleocene intervals that prove the presence of several gas-prone and oil-prone potential source rocks along the eastern margin of the Levant Basin onshore Lebanon. None of the analysed onshore source rocks have reached sufficient thermal maturity for oil generation. However, 3D thermal history and maturity modelling indicate that these source rocks have reached thermal maturity in the offshore basin. Several potential petroleum systems have been suggested, including an Upper Cretaceous–Oligo-Miocene biogenic and thermogenic system in the deep basin, a Jurassic–Cretaceous system along the margin, and a Permian–Triassic system in the onshore. Sensitivity analysis in the poorly calibrated offshore basin showed a large uncertainty with respect to the depth of the oil and gas window and suggested an important effect of the depth of the lithospheric–asthenospheric boundary on the thermal history of the basin. The different scenarios tested in this study showed that the thickness of the biogenic zone below the Messinian salt would vary between 700 and 1500 m in the deep basin offshore Lebanon.