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The Dead Sea Rift is one of the world's unique geologic and topographic features, whose petroleum potential has not yet been evaluated. The sector of the Dead Sea is an asymmetric graben 20 km (12 mi) from rim to rim and over 120 km (75 mi) long. The total throw from the west rim, where the Upper Cretaceous crops out to the deeper portion of the grabens, is more than 8 km (26,200 ft). Throw on the eastern side is considerably greater as the valley wall is largely Precambrian. The level of the Dead Sea is -400 m (-1,300 ft)--the lowest place on earth.
Asphalt blocks floating from the Dead Sea, along with asphalt and heavy oil seeps in the valley, have been known since biblical times. These are suggestive of leaks from deeper accumulations.
Although some exploration drilling has been done, no test has yet reached objectives in the deeper sunken block where the Miocene is figured to be at a depth of at least 7 km (23,000 ft).
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