Lithology and Mineral Resources

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 344–361 | Cite as

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

  • A. I. Konyuhov
  • B. Maleki


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.


Anhydrite Kuwait Qatar Arabian Plate Asmari Formation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alsharhan, A.S. and Nairn, M.E., Sedimentary Basins and Petroleum Geology of the Middle East, Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1997.Google Scholar
  2. Bahroudi, A., The Effect of Mechanical Characteristics of Basal Decollement and Basement Structure on Deformation of the Zagros Basin, Uppsala: Acta Univ. Upsaliensis, 2003.Google Scholar
  3. Beydoun, Z.R., Arabian Plate Oil and Gas: Why so Rich and so Prolific?, Episodes, 1998, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 74–81.Google Scholar
  4. Bordenave, M.L., Gas Prospective Areas in the Zagros Domain of Iran and in the Gulf Iranian Waters, in AAPG Annual Meeting, Houston: Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol., 2002a, pp. 1–10.Google Scholar
  5. Bordenave, M.L., The Middle Cretaceous and Early Miocene Petroleum System in the Zagros Domain of Iran and Its Prospect Evaluation, in AAPG Annual Meeting, Houston: Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol., 2002b, pp. 1–9.Google Scholar
  6. Bordenave, M.L. and Burwood, R., The Albian Kazdhumi Formation of the Dezful Embayment Iran: One of the Most Efficient Petroleum-Generating Systems, in Petroleum Source Rocks, Katz, B., Ed., Heidelberg: Springer, 1995, pp. 183–207.Google Scholar
  7. Coleman, S.P., Sadd. Fold Development in Zagros Simply Folded Belt, Southwest Iran, Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol., 1978, vol. 62, no. 6, pp. 984–1003.Google Scholar
  8. Edgell, H.S., Basement Tectonics of Saudi Arabia as Related to Oil Field Structures, in Basement Tectonics, Rickard, M.J., et al., Eds., Dordrecht: Kluver Acad. Publ., 1992, vol. 9, pp. 169–193.Google Scholar
  9. Edgell, H.S., Significance of Reef Limestones as Oil and Gas Reservoir in the Middle East and North Africa, Preprint of the Report in the Meeting at Sydney Univ., 1997.Google Scholar
  10. Geodekyan, A.A., Zabanbark, A., and Konyuhov, A.I., Tektonicheskie i litologicheskie aspekty neftegazonosnosti kontinental’nykh okrain (Tectonic and Lithological Aspects of the Petroleum Potential of Continental Margins), Moscow: Nauka, 1988.Google Scholar
  11. Geodekyan, A.A., Zabanbark, A., and Konyuhov, A.I., Geological History and Petroleum Resources of the Continental Margins in the Central Sector of Tethys, Int. Geol. Rev., 1993, vol. 35, no. 10, pp. 17–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Konyuhov, A.I. and Maleki, B., Environments of the Accumulation of Late Paleozoic and Mesozoic Sediments in the Persian Basin, Abstracts of Papers, Materialy 8-i Mezhdunarodnoi konferentsii “Novye idei v geologii i geokhimii nefti i gaza” (Materials of the 8th Int. Conf. “New Ideas in Petroleum Geology and Geochemistry”), Moscow: Mosk. Gos. Univ., GEOS, 2005, pp. 230–233.Google Scholar
  13. Luning, S., Craig, J., Storch, P., and Fiches, B., Lower Silurian “Hot Shales” in North Africa and Arabia, Regional Distribution and Depositional Model, Earth Sci. Rev., 2000, vol. 49, pp. 121–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Maleki, B., Relationship between Oil-Generating Rocks Complexes, Reservoirs, and Seals in Different Parts of the Mesopotamian Basin, Materialy 7-i Mezhdunarodnoi konferentsii “Novye idei v geologii i geokhimii nefti i gaza,” (Materials of the 7th Int. Conf. “New Ideas in Petroleum Geology and Geochemistry”), Moscow: Mosk. Gos. Univ., GEOS, 2004, pp. 82–84.Google Scholar
  15. McQuillan, H., Gashsaran and Bibi Hakimeh Fields, in Carbonate Petroleum Reservoirs, Rochl, P. and Choquette, P., Eds., New York: Springer, 1985, pp. 513–523.Google Scholar
  16. Sadooni, F.N. and Alsharhan, A.S., Stratigraphy, Lithofacies Distribution and Petroleum Potential of the Triassic Strata of the Northern Arabian Plate, Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol., 2004, vol. 88, no. 4, pp. 515–538.Google Scholar
  17. Sharland, P.R., Archer, R., Casey, R.B., et al., Arabian Plate Sequence Stratigraphy, in GeoArabia. Publication no. 2, Bahrain: Gulf Petrolink, 2001.Google Scholar
  18. Stampfli, G., Marcoux, J., and Baud, A., Tethyan Margins in Space and Time, Paleogeogr. Paleoclimat. Palaeoecol., 1991, vol. 87, pp. 373–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ziegler, M., Late Permian to Holocene Paleofacies Evolution of the Arabian Plate and Its Hydrocarbon Occurrences, GeoArabia, 2001, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 445–504.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. I. Konyuhov
    • 1
  • B. Maleki
    • 1
  1. 1.Geological FacultyMoscow State UniversityLeninskie gory, MoscowRussia

Personalised recommendations