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Onshore Malta is composed of carbonate sediments laid down in a shallow marine environment. This sedimentary platform was formed during the Triassic and continued up to the Miocene.
The Maltese islands and their offshore waters comprise several Late Triassic to Early Jurassic pull-apart basins that overlap into Libya, Tunisia and Sicily. The Triassic rifting of Pangaea in an east-west direction produced the Tethys Sea. River sediments and reef deposits were laid down on this early ocean bed. The northward movement of what is now the African continent led to the destruction of most of Tethys. The collision zone between Eurasia and Africa uplifted Malta which is crossed by several fault systems representing the effects of rift and uplift episodes.
Globalshift recognises that potential source rocks of Upper Triassic and Lower Jurassic age were deposited in the basins. These are known to source the oil in the Ragusa Basin which extends into several Maltese blocks in the north. A similar basin, Melita-Medina, is present in the south where Jurassic faulting is present.
Triassic carbonates, as found in the Ragusa field in Sicily, are potential reservoirs but may be too deep in Malta. Jurassic carbonates are expected on the flanks of the basins and Cretaceous reefal carbonates may also be potential reservoirs. Tertiary sediments, productive in Tunisia could also hold reservoirs.