OIL AND GAS PLAYS IN ALBANIA: DO EQUIVALENT PLAYS EXIST IN GREECE?
A. Zelilidis*+, D. J. W. Piper**, I. Vakalas*, P. Avramidis* and K. Getsos*
*Department of Geology, University of Patras, 26500 Patras, Greece.
**Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic), Bedford Institute of Oceanography, PO Box 1006, Dartmouth, NS, B2Y 4A2, Canada.
+ Author for correspondence: A. Zelilidis@upatras.gr
<4>Western Greece and Albania have had a broadly similar geological history and the hydrocarbon potentials of both areas may therefore be comparable. In this paper, we briefly review the stratigraphic and structural evolution of Albania and compare it with that of NW Greece in terms of source rocks, reservoirs, seals, structures and maturation history.
In Albania, a number of sizeable oilfields produce from Mesozoic-Paleogene carbonates assigned to the Ionian Zone; traps are thrust-related anticlines. Gas is produced from both Mesozoic reservoir rocks and also from Tortonian-Messinian sandstones along the eastern margin of the Neogene Durres Basin. In both Albania and western Greece, the Mesozoic to Eocene succession includes organic-rich shales which were deposited on the Apulian margin of the Pindos Ocean. Tertiary closure of that ocean resulted in thin-skinned thrusting onto the Apulian margin along Triassic evaporite décollements. Thick, late Eocene to Miocene flysch was deposited synchronously in the Pindos foreland basin, and was deformed by the advancing thrust system.
The Neogene Durres and Preveza Basins developed on the Apulian foreland as a result of complex plate-tectonic interactions and block rotations. NE-trending lineaments played an important role in the evolution of these basins, and also gave rise to dip-closed anticlines in the Ionian Zone successions in both countries. In Albania, the Vlora-Elbasan lineament controlled the development of structural traps at producing oilfields, and the Cephalonia transform fault in Greece may have played an analogous structural role. Potential hydrocarbon plays in NW Greece, analogous to producing fields in Albania, are located in the Ionian thrust belt and in the Neogene Preveza Basin. In addition, the middle Tertiary flysch basins of both countries may have some gas potential.