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#1
mikeb226

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So I was cruising along the net and happened upon this link about the biggest oil fields of the future:
Top 10 Future Oil Fields

A slideshow with maps! yay! I like maps!

Anyway, it occurred to me that the effect of this slideshow would have been much greater had they presented it differently.

6 of the 10 fields are in two clusters roughly 500 miles apart, with 4 fields in one cluster and two in the other, all of which representing (according to the article) an estimated future of 200+ billion barrels of oil.

I think the impact of the closeness of these fields far out weighs the other information that was given, and thus the message of the mapping is lost.

I've attached to images: one showing those 6 maps as the appear in the slideshow, and another merged into what, to me, is a more meaningful map. The red numbers next to the names indicate the corresponding number in the slide show.

A few things I noticed:
1. There's a heck of a lot of oil still to be retrieved in the middle east.

2. It would seem, according to this map, the oil fields have similar shapes and orientation. I'm not a geologist, but that seems puzzling to me...

3. I would be real interested in seeing the relationship of the fields that are close together - how do they know which ones they are actually drilling out of?

So, anyway....Your thoughts?

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#2
Emily Martin

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A few things I noticed:
1. There's a heck of a lot of oil still to be retrieved in the middle east.

2. It would seem, according to this map, the oil fields have similar shapes and orientation. I'm not a geologist, but that seems puzzling to me...

3. I would be real interested in seeing the relationship of the fields that are close together - how do they know which ones they are actually drilling out of?

So, anyway....Your thoughts?


Mike, your composite map is much better. I think they definitely lost the message in the originals.

The similarities of the reservoirs are due to the geological structure of the area. The structural history and interactions of the African and Arabian plates have created a NW/SE trend, which can be seen on a large scale in the oreintation of the Persian Gulf, Red Sea and the Zagros Mountains. Smaller structures follow this trend as well - long folds and faults form traps for migrating oil and gas and become reservoirs.

Rumaila, Majnoon and West Qurna, together with Nahr Umr and the Zubair/Luhais/Subba group, form the Great Rumaila Triangle, a group of related fields and one of the largest oil provinces in the world.

I've not looked into the stratigraphy of the region, so I can't say how the fields have been defined. But in general, they could be determined by faults at the edges, by the extent of folds in which oil accumulates, or by the lateral extent of the reservoir layer. The latter is called a stratigraphic trap, and the first two are structural traps. In each case, geophysics (normally seismic) is used to image the subsurface (my job :) ). Since there are normally several rock units at different depths which hold oil, it's possible that one field geographically overlaps another.

For wider interest Deloitte have a series of maps showing oil and gas exploration and production (a.k.a. upstream) activities worldwide here.
Emily Martin
Petroleum Geoscientist
Bournemouth, UK


"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen" - Albert Einstein




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