The Provence Basin is in that portion of the western Mediterranean Sea that is deeper than 2 kilometers. The basin lies essentially beyond the outer continental shelf, between the countries of France, Italy, and Algeria, the Balearic Islands, and the islands of Sardinia and Corsica. It encompasses nearly 300,000 square kilometers and includes the Rhone River submarine fan on the continental slope of southern France. It is province 4068 in the World Energy study.
A single, hypothetical, total petroleum system (TPS), the Pre-Messinian TPS (406801), was described for the Provence Basin. The designation hypothetical is used because there is no hydrocarbon production from the basin. The Provence Basin is a deep-water Tertiary rift basin in which the geothermal gradients vary regionally. The Red Sea Basin shares a similar geologic and thermal history with the rifted western Mediterranean Sea and was used as an analog to better understand the genesis of the Provence Basin and as a guide to estimating possible undiscovered amounts of hydrocarbons.
For this assessment the basin was given a potential, at the mean, for undiscovered resources of 51 trillion cubic feet (1.4 trillion cubic meters) gas, 0.42 billion barrels oil, and 2.23 million barrels natural gas liquids.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
The Pre-Messinian Total Petroleum System of the Provence Basin, Western Mediterranean Sea