The Middle East holds estimated proven reserves of some 625 billion barrels of crude and 1,720<br>trillion cubic feet of natural gas, nearly 64 % and 34% of the world’s reserves, respectively (IHS<br>Energy Group, 2001). These reserves have been discovered in reservoirs, which range in age<br>from Precambrian to Tertiary. Crude and condensate production from these reservoirs was<br>reported to be nearly 8.0 billion barrels/year in 2000. Most of these hydrocarbons are produced<br>from carbonate reservoirs, like the prolific Oligo-Miocene Asmari in Iran, the Cretaceous<br>Shuaiba, Jurassic Arab and the Permian Khuff reservoirs in the Gulf and neighboring regions.<br>This paper briefly describes the origin in space and time of the hydrocarbon occurrences in the<br>Middle East using petroleum system concepts.


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