The gulf occupies the northwestern arm of the Red Sea between Africa and the Sinai Peninsula. It is the third arm of the triple junction rift system, the second arm being the Gulf of Aqaba.
The length of the gulf, from its mouth at the Strait of Gubal (alternate name: Strait of Jubal) to its head at the city of Suez, is 195 miles (314 km), and it varies in width from 12 to 20 miles (19 to 32 km).
The International Hydrographic Organization defines the southern limit of the gulf as "A line running from Ras Muhammed (27°43'N) to the South point of Shadwan Island (34°02'E) and thence Westward on a parallel (27°27'N) to the coast of Africa".
The gulf sedimentary basin stratigraphic section consists of prerift Paleozoic to Oligocene clastic rocks and carbonates, and synrift and postrift Miocene to Holocene clastics and evaporites. Three large oil fields are in the gulf: the El Morgan discovered in 1964, Belayim discovered in 1955, and the October Field discovered in 1977. The October Field produces from the Cretaceous Nubia Formation, the Upper Cretaceous Nezzazat Formation, the Miocene Nukhul Formation, and the Miocene Asl Member of the Upper Rudeis Formation.