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Based on results and models presented previously, it is possible to consider an exploration matrix that examines the 5 basic exploration parameters: source, reservoir, timing, structure, and seal. This matrix indicates that even those basins that have had marginal exploration successes, including the Paleozoic megabasin and downfaulted Triassic grabens of Morocco, the Cyrenaican platform of Libya, and the Tunisia-Sicily shelf, have untested plays. The exploration matrix also suggests these high-risk areas could change significantly, if one of the 5 basic matrix parameters is upgraded or if adjustments in political or financial risk are made.
The Sirte basin and the Gulf of Suez, 2 of the more intensely explored areas, also present attractive matrix prospects, particularly with deeper Nubian beds or with the very shallow Tertiary sections. The Ghadames basin of Libya and Tunisia shows some potential, but its evaluation responds strongly to stratigraphic and external nongeologic matrix variations based on degree of risk exposure to be assumed. Of greatest risk in the matrix are the very deep Moroccan Paleozoic clastic plays and the Jurassic of Sinai. However, recent discoveries may upgrade these untested frontier areas.
Based on the matrix generated by the data presented at a North African Petroleum Geology symposium, significant hydrocarbon accumulations are yet to be found. The remaining questions are: where in the matrix does each individual company wish to place its exploration capital and how much should be the risk exposure?
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