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Abstract: Regional Seismic Study of the Southern Apennine Oil Discoveries

I. R. Finetti, A. Del Ben

Based on interpretation of conspicuous regional, detailed seismic data sets collected in several years of scientific and professional geophysical exploration activity, the Author outline basinal conditions of the source rocks deposition during Mesozoic and successive Cenozoic thrusting deformation of the oil basin of Southern Apennine, Italy.

Mainly due to its tectonic complexity, only in the last years in the Southern Apennine have been discovered promising oil fields (i.e. Mt. Alpi, Tempa Rossa and Costa Molina). This thrust belt area is now actively explored with a relevant effort to understand the involved detailed tectonic setting and connected geodynamic process. Also basin evolution and source rock distribution are key aspects for success in the exploration activity. The deformation processes of the Apennine Chain are so severe and complex that it is objectively difficult to understand the occurred evolution only investigating local areas, even if in advanced manner. Indeed, for a correct understanding it is indispensable to regionally extend the tectonic inversion firstly to those areas which were involved in Mesoz ic by those extensional processes that control the source rocks deposition of the discovered oil fields. This investigation may also clear out the potential areal extent of the discovered producing zone. Successively, it is necessary to reconstruct the young compressive complex tectonization of the involved thrust belt.

The regional seismic exploration shows very clearly that large part of the Ionian Sea represents the southeastward not tectonized continuation of the source rocks area of the oil discoveries, locally known with the name of "Lagonegrese." Seismic information indicates also that the source rocks deposition is associated with a rift activity occurred in Triassic and pursued with a second phase in Middle Jurassic with the formation of a large graben separating the Apulian Platform from the African Plate.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90956©1995 AAPG International Convention and Exposition Meeting, Nice, France