Egypt Hosts Inaugural International GTW

Egypt’s diverse and prolific Western Desert hydrocarbon province will provide the context and the content of AAPG’s inaugural international Geosciences Technology Workshop (GTW).

“The Mesozoic Western Desert, Egypt” GTW will be held April 28-29 in Cairo.

This workshop, held in association with the Egyptian Petroleum Exploration Society, will examine the geology, petroleum systems, geophysics and drilling of the Western Desert to better understand what makes the system work – and how to best explore and develop its resources.

Dave Blanchard, vice president and general manager for El Paso Egypt, and Mostafa El Bahr, vice CEO of exploration and agreements for Egyptian General Petroleum Co., are co-chairs. Technical session co-chairs are Ahmed El Barkooky, Shell Egypt, and William Bosworth, Apache Egypt.

The Western Desert province holds one of the richest stores of natural resources in Egypt and is at the top of many lists of international exploration targets (see February EXPLORER). This GTW is designed to deliver up-to-date technical content, field case studies and practical solutions that address the question, “How are we doing it now?”

The GTW structure includes four technical sessions to provide in-depth analysis of key elements in successful Western Desert exploration and development:

Petroleum Systems

The Western Desert has experienced a complex history of multi-phase deformation, both extensional and compressional, during which hydrocarbon source rocks were deposited in both the Jurassic and Cretaceous. This session will explore the regional manifestations of these various structural events, the interplay between structuration and hydrocarbon maturation, the relative roles of long-range versus vertical migration and regional geochemical and geothermal variations/similarities between various Western Desert basins.

Basin Analysis

Rifting occurred in the Western Desert in the Middle Jurassic, Early and Late Cretaceous and Early Cenozoic. The resulting syn-rift sediments were either in communication with, or proximal to, the opening Neotethyan seaway. Lateral and vertical facies changes in the Western Desert are therefore complex and in certain areas – and at some geologic times, strongly influenced by eustatic sea-level fluctuations.

This session will focus on the Western Desert’s tectonostratigraphic architecture –and how this has influenced recent major discoveries.

Geophysics

The Western Desert’s exploration resurgence is directly correlative to the widespread application of 3-D seismic technology. This session will illustrate recent advances in the use of seismic technology to identify both deeper and more subtle trapping styles – and anticipated future developments.

Drilling and Completion Technology

The Western Desert’s drilling environment remains technically challenging – some formations and basins remain particularly difficult to drill. This session deals with those challenges, including the importance of modern bit technology, oil versus water-based muds and well-stimulations to decrease drilling costs and increase producibility and ultimate recovery.

An optional field trip to the Western Desert to examine Eocene tidal and esturine deposits will be offered on April 30, led by Barkooky, John Dolson and George Pemberton.

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