Abstract

Recent discoveries of oil and gas in Triassic reservoirs of the Ghadames basin, eastern Algeria, suggest that similar potential exists to the east, in the southern Tunisian part of the province. For decades, southern Tunisia has remained an underexplored part of the basin, in large part owing to older geological interpretations that focus on Paleozoic reservoirs and to limitations in seismic data quality, resulting from statics problems, that have rendered trap identification inaccurate or tenuous. New analyses of previously and recently acquired geological and geochemical data, as well as improvements in seismic data acquisition and processing, have begun to reverse older notions regarding limited hydrocarbon presence in southern Tunisia. Log correlations indicate that productive, sand-rich intervals of the major Triassic reservoir in the region, the Trias Argilo Greseux Inferieur (TAGI), can be correlated over large distances, suggesting significant continuity into lightly drilled and undrilled areas. Analyses of geochemical data reveal a more complex, multistage history of hydrocarbon maturation and migration than previously believed. Much greater volumes of petroleum have been generated and a larger variety of traps have been created than can be accounted for by older interpretations. Where added to the use of new field and processing parameters for seismic surveys, these factors have together led to important, upgraded evaluations of basin potential in southern Tunisia.

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