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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 61 (1977)

Issue: 1. (January)

First Page: 43

Last Page: 64

Title: Petroleum Prospects of Lebanon: Reevaluation

Author(s): Z. R. Beydoun (2)


Lebanon occupies 10,170 sq km along the eastern Mediterranean seaboard. The country is mainly mountainous and includes two north-northeast-south-southwest-trending ranges separated by a structural depression. Seven exploratory wells have been drilled in Lebanon, six relatively deep tests and one shallow. None tested formations older than those cropping out in Lebanon. These wells were drilled between 1947 and 1967.

About 5,800 m of predominantly marine sedimentary rocks, ranging in age from Early Jurassic to recent, are exposed in Lebanon. Paleogeographic considerations of facies and thickness indicate that the country was the site of marine sedimentation during the Paleozoic Era also, and that 2,800 to 3,300 m of sedimentary rocks of Paleozoic through Early Jurassic age lie below the oldest exposures. The tectonic style is almost entirely vertical movement on discrete fault blocks, with minor compression caused by jostling between blocks.

As a result, the exposed competent carbonate rocks in the succession are highly fractured and meteoric waters have invaded subsurface reservoirs where structures are near the main faults or elevated outcrop recharge areas. However, indications of petroleum are plentiful, and commercial accumulations are likely where cover is unbreached. Such accumulations should occur mainly in formations of pre-Jurassic age, because these strata should include many interbeds of shale, marl, and evaporite which would not be fractured seriously by major faulting.

Evaluation of wells drilled shows that several were not sited correctly in relation to structure. Future efforts should be concentrated on the continental shelf for upper Paleozoic-Cretaceous objectives, and on the major closed structures in the mountains for tests of the pre-Jurassic sequence to basement.

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