The Tadla basin, Morocco, is the easternmost major structural subdivision of the Meseta south of the Central Massif. After the basin remained relatively stable through the Paleozoic, movements during the Variscan orogeny divided the basin into two subbasins, a western subbasin where compressional forces formed large anticlines and an eastern subbasin where intense folding and faulting are associated with uplift and erosion. The sedimentary basin fill includes numerous organic shales, which provide the source beds. Also deposited were numerous shallow-water to continental clastics and to a lesser extent carbonates, providing several possible reservoir rocks for hydrocarbons.

The results from computer modeling show that the chief formations of hydrocarbon generation are Carboniferous and Silurian. Most of these formations may have generated hydrocarbons before Variscan movements, which probably destroyed preexisting oil and gas traps. The only source rocks in the generation stage from Mesozoic to the present are the upper Visean shales. The western part of the Tadla basin was the most favorable area for the generation and maturation of hydrocarbons of the upper Visean shales.

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