On the territory of the former Soviet Union more than 30- oil and gas-bearing basins have been defined. Among them the Precaspian basin is one of the most prolific in terms of oil and gas exploration and production. The basin is situated in the southeastern part of the East European Platform and covers an area of about 500 000 km 2 . There are a number of source rocks of different ages, among which the principal ones are Lower Permian, Middle Carboniferous and Middle Devonian marine shales and carbonates. The post-salt Mesozoic sources are of less significance. Geological and geochemical data interpretation allows the main oil/gas accumulation zones and new exploration prospects to be defined. Two main petroleum systems are recognized in the Palaeozoic sequence of the basin, containing 90% of the recoverable hydrocarbon resources: Lower Permian-Middle Carboniferous and Lower Carboniferous-Upper Devonian. The new exploration targets are deep Middle Devonian clastic reservoirs on the passive continental margins and Middle Carboniferous (Bashkirian) carbonates in the Caspian offshore part of the basin.

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