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Celtic Petroleum : Products : Basin Studies :

Black Sea Overview Basin Study
| Synopsis | Table of Contents | Downloads |



The object of this Study is to offer the explorationist a framework based on which one could elucidate the age of structures, the source of the reservoirs, the type of deformation which caused a particular style of structure. Most importantly, this framework would explain the relationship between structures, their organisation in three dimensions, their compressional or extensional nature, the manner in which they were formed, etc. The proposed framework should be used as a tool which should be further refined and built on. To those involved in seismic interpretation and well correlation, this study should help in correlating seismic markers, especially in areas with little or no well control, or in areas which are affected by major faults, in areas where the signal-to-noise ratio is poor, or the seismic control insufficient. It will also help to integrate with greater confidence the poorer, older seismics to the new, more transparent lines. This model will also help in putting useful constraints on the fault correlation. However, what this Study does NOT propose to do is to "spoon-feed" the explorationist, by giving him ALL the answers - this it cannot do without the integration of the conceptual model to the Company's data base. The Study is intended to spur the explorationist in making faster progress, by providing a sound geodynamic basis of work on which one should build further. The Study is intended as a basis of discussion, a tool of work, which should help to extrapolate with greater confidence from the "known" to the "unknown". This could make all difference between the successful and the less successful Company : if used with a great deal of imagination and expertise backed by hard facts it will put one ahead of the pack.


The above research is the result of a long detailed evaluation of the Petroleum Geology of the Black Sea region. It is an extension of our involvement in the Seismo-Tectonics of the Carpathians and related Plate movements in the adjacent areas of the Fore-arc (the Black Sea, the Russian and Moesian Platforms, etc.) as well as the areas of the Back-arc ( the Pannonian, Transylvanian and Vienna basins ). This research goes back to the work carried out at the University of Bucharest (Romania) and Cambridge (England) in the 1960's and 1970's. In Romania the work was of an applied nature, dealing with the Structural Geology, Tectonics, Stratigraphy and Petroleum Geology of the oil and Gas province of the Carpathian arc. At Cambridge the research was regional in nature at the time when the basis of Plate Tectonics was established by my Professor and Supervisor Sir Edward Bullard (the Bullard Continental Best Fit for the Atlantic), by Vine and Matthews (sea floor spreading), by Tuzo Wilson from Toronto, then Visiting Professor at Cambridge (transform faults), by C.Roman (non-rigid plates or "buffer" plates and sub-plates).

The work carried out in the Oil Industry by Dr. C.Roman in the 1970's and throughout the 1980's highlighted the need to correlate the local structure to the Regional Plate Tectonic picture.
The above topic stemmed precisely out of this need and it became the natural by product of many years of research in this particular region. The topic was first presented to the International Symposium on the Black Sea in Ankara, then the following year to the Romanian Academy Institute of Geodynamics in Bucharest and to the Dallas Geological Society in 1993, (Fig. 1). This was a way of gauging the reaction of both Academia and Industry and the outcome was encouraging and the results of the feed-back positive. This caused us to compile the present Study.


The structure of the Study is organised in the manner presented in the Table of Contents ( Fig. 2 ).

Chapter 1

is the chapter of Acknowledgements which presents the source of the materials.

Chapter 2

(Local Structure and the Regional Geology) focuses on the detail structure within the larger framework of Regional Geology. As part of this chapter a quick review is being carried out on the present state of art of the Black Sea Plate Tectonics (Refresher, Fig 9 onwards) and proceeds to demonstrate that the present knowledge is inadequate. Further more the discussion focuses on an important misconception which crept up in the scientific literature on the Black Sea and which is being perpetuated without questioning: this is the question of the two main structural highs which dissect the Black Sea basin, the so-called "ridges" (Mid Blacks Sea and Shatzky). This misconception has been espoused by some geologists in Industry with damaging effects on the interpretation, extrapolation and understanding of the local hydrocarbon structure.

Chapter 3

(Rhegmatic Trends) discusses the three orthogonal trends in the Black Sea and environs. The Environs encompass a very wide area scanning from West to East region from the Atlantic to the Dnyepr Donets, the Caspian Sea and Iran and from North to South, from Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea to Anatolia and the Saudi Arabia. The Black Sea scanning refers to the local morphostructures offshore and in the immediate onshore it refers to the Crimea, Caucasus and the Carpathian forearc.

Chapter 4

(Geodynamics of the Rhegmatic Trends). These trends were actually discussed in detail in Chapter 3, but they were presented individually, according to their orientation, without demonstrating the link which correlates them with each other, which is done in Chapter 4.

Chapter 5

(Plate Tectonics 1988 Model) discusses the best model so far published, which covers, however, only the Eastern part of the Black Sea Basin.

Chapter 6

(Where is the Black Sea?) underlines the need for a Black Sea Plate Tectonic model. This was demonstrated in the previous chapters either to be incomplete or inadequate.

Chapter 7

(Proposed Model) proposes a Plate Tectonic model for the Black Sea, the first one ever to be presented for this area. This model explains in a logical manner the organic relationship between the mega and micro structures of the area, as well as the geodynamic relationship between the various geologic basins.

Chapter 8

presents the Conclusions.

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