Egypt Far Western Desert Basins Petroleum Charge System as Defined by Oil Chemistry and Unmixing Analysis

EGI Senior Geologic Advisor Matthias Greb recently published new research on Egypt’s far Western Desert Basins, along with co-authors Michael A. Abrams, James W. Collister, and Melissa Thompson. The article appears in Marine and Petroleum Geology and is available at


Source rock analysis and maturity modeling in Egypt’s Far Western Desert basins indicates that several Jurassic and Cretaceous petroleum source rocks could be mature and expelling hydrocarbons over much of the area. Highly variable oil characteristics suggest that more than one charge system may be present.

Reservoir crude oil chemistry indicates that the fluids originated from a single source facies generated over a wide range of organic maturity. Secondary alteration mechanisms include water washing, biodegradation, and evaporative fractionation. Crude oils in the upper reservoirs tend to be most affected by biodegradation and water washing. Condensates and light crude oils in the deepest reservoirs appear to be the residual phase from evaporative fractionation.

Abrams, M.A., Greb, M.D., Collister, J.W., Thompson, M., Egypt far Western Desert basins petroleum charge system as defined by oil chemistry and unmixing analysis, Marine and Petroleum Geology (2016), doi: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2016.05.035.