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Petroleum Geology of Libya

gfejklhgThe First Edition of this book was written by Don Hallett and published by Elsevier in 2002, at a time when diplomatic relations between Libya and the west were improving rapidly and a settlement was reached over Lockerbie. Tripoli was a good posting and numerous conferences and fieldtrips made the first edition a must-have travelling companion.

Personally I worked in and out of Binghazi until 2010 but lost touch with the exploration community at the start of the civil war.  The decade leading up to the war saw significant advances in our knowledge of the four onshore basins and the offshore giants such as Bouri.

 Hallett and Clarke-Lowes form the dream-team in terms of regional knowledge and have continued to function at the forefront of geoscience in Libya with access to new data, significant advances in exploration concepts and the interpretive gains in subjects such as sedimentology, sequence stratigraphy, palaeogeography, tectonics, and modelling.

 The new edition has 347 coloured figures, produced in the pastel shades successfully adopted by Nubian Consultancy. This edition is divided into eight chapters and a labour-saving bibliography lists over 1200 technical papers.

 The History of Oil and Gas Exploration (Chapter 1) is most informative and an essential read for the next generation of regional explorationists, setting a very high standard for the rest of the book.

 Although the first Italian settlers and geologists were not welcome in pre-war Libya the geologists led by Ardito Desio, Director of the Libyan Geological Survey 1936-1940, was first class, with Desio predicting that the Sirt Basin could be an oil province. The first chapter also documents the events of successive decades from 1950 to 2015, detailing a host of concessions and licences with informative notes on the complex nature of Libyan names, well nomenclature and given field.

Chapter 2 is an excellent account of The plate tectonic history of Africa, with the emphasis on North Africa and Tethys.  It is beautifully illustrated and an essential lead-in to sections on Stratigraphy (3), Structure (4), Petroleum Geochemistry (5), Petroleum Systems (6), the Oil and Gas Fields of Libya (7) and Future Exploration and Exploitation Potential (8).

As before, these chapters are packed with detailed maps and cross-sections they are most pleasant to the eye and worth a fortune in terms information. It is a masterpiece.  All explorationists should have a copy.  

Reviewed by Dick Moody

PETROLEUM GEOLOGY OF LIBYA: SECOND EDITION by DON HALLETT AND DANIEL CLARK-LOWES, 2016.  Published by:  Elsevier, 404pp (Sbk) ISBN 978-0-444-63517-4.  eBook ISBN: 9780444635198 List Price: US$252.00 (bundle),  Separately US$210.00