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This study comprises the source rock evaluation of 122 Late Middle Eocene–Early Miocene mudstones from the NE margin of the Black Sea. Samples are immature to early mature. The majority of samples have moderate to very good organic richness, poor to moderate source potential and a hydrogen-deficient to gas-prone source rock quality. However, a significant proportion of the samples have good to excellent organic richness and source potential, and an oil- and gas-prone quality derived from amorphous-rich kerogens. These samples would generate significant amounts of oil and associated gas where buried to peak maturity. They come from the lowermost (Rupelian) part of the Maykop Series and the late Bartonian–early Priabonian Kuma Suite or its stratigraphic equivalents. The Rupelian source-rock interval(s) in west Georgia is at least 60 m thick and potentially as much as 200 m thick. It has a source potential index (SPI) of 0.7–2.5 t HC m−2. The thickness of the Kuma Suite-equivalent source rock interval south of the western Greater Caucasus is unconstrained. Maykop Series source rocks occur in the Black Sea Basin. Prospective Kuma Suite-equivalent samples on both the northern and southern margins of the Black Sea imply that similar sediments may also be present in the basin.

Supplementary material: Additional information on the geographical location and age determination of the samples discussed in this paper are available at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.3841399

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