The Ahdeb oil field is located in the Mesopotamian Basin of central Iraq within a northwest–southeast-trending anticline. Seven oil-bearing layers exist in the eastern area in the field, but there is only one oil-bearing layer in the western area. This study reveals that the reservoir filling process resulted from the difference in the elements in the petroleum system, the oil generation and migration process, and the formation of the structural trap. Most oils in the field, with pristane/phytane < 1 and a high relative abundance of hopanes exceeding C30, were generated from the Upper Jurassic–Lower Cretaceous Chia Gara Formation, whereas some oils were generated from the Lower Cretaceous Ratawi and Zubair Formations. The mid-Upper Cretaceous reservoirs in the field are composed of lime grainstones, packstones, and wackestones.

The main oil accumulation occurred during the Maastrichtian, coinciding with peak oil generation from the Chia Gara Formation with a 50% transformation ratio from organic matter to oil. The reservoirs of the eastern structural trap in the field were filled with large amounts of medium to heavy oils. After the formation of two structural traps in the western area in the mid-Miocene, oils pre-existing in the second layer of the Khasib Formation in the east began migrating toward the structural traps in the west during the late Miocene, as verified by relatively higher 1-/4-methylcarbazole and 1,8-/2,7-dimethycarbazole ratios of oils in the west than that in the east and residual solid bitumen in the east. The strike-slip fault might also have restricted oil or gas migration during the Miocene, limiting oil accumulation in the west.

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