Tectonosedimentary framework of Upper Cretaceous –Neogene series in the Gulf of Tunis inferred from subsurface data: implications for petroleum exploration

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The objective and the main contribution of this issue are dedicated to using subsurface data to delineate a basin beneath the Gulf of Tunis and its neighbouring areas, and to investigate the potential of this area in terms of hydrocarbon resources. Available well data provided information about the subsurface geology beneath the Gulf of Tunis. 2D seismic data allowed delineation of the basin shape, strata geometries, and some potential promising subsurface structures in terms of hydrocarbon accumulation. Together with lithostratigraphic data obtained from drilled wells, seismic data permitted the construction of isochron and isobath maps of Upper Cretaceous-Neogene strata. Structural and lithostratigraphic interpretations indicate that the area is tectonically complex, and they highlight the tectonic control of strata deposition during the Cretaceous and Neogene. Tectonic activity related to the geodynamic evolution of the northern African margin appears to have been responsible for several thickness and facies variations, and to have played a significant role in the establishment and evolution of petroleum systems in northeastern Tunisia. As for petroleum systems in the basin, the Cretaceous series of the Bahloul, Mouelha and Fahdene formations are acknowledged to be the main source rocks. In addition, potential reservoirs (Fractured Abiod and Bou Dabbous carbonated formations) sealed by shaly and marly formations (Haria and Souar formations respectively) show favourable geometries of trap structures (anticlines, tilted blocks, unconformities, etc.) which make this area adequate for hydrocarbon accumulations.

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