Hydrocarbon Potential of a New Jurassic Play, Central Tunisia
Arthur O. Beall and Carol Walsh Law
A largely unrecognized Jurassic Sag Basin has been identified in central Tunisia, proximal to the Permo-Carboniferous flexure delineating the northern boundary of the Saharan platform of north Africa. The northwestern margin of the Sag is delineated by an extensive region of salt-cored anticlines and localized salt diapirs extending north and west. Due to lack of deep drilling, delineation of the Sag is largely based on regional gravity data.
Subsidence of the Jurassic Sag Basin is characterized by rapid expansion of Jurassic sediments from 400 meters of tidal flat and shelf carbonate at the western outcrop to over 2000 meters of tidal flat and basinal carbonate and shale within the basin center, a five-fold expansion. Rapid loading of the basin continued into Lower cretaceous time, marked by lateral flowage of Triassic salt into pronounced structural trends.
Published source rock data and interpreted subsurface well data provided the basis for GENEX 1-D hydrocarbon generation and expulsion modeling of the Sag. Middle Jurassic black source shales typically contain Type II and Type III kerogens with T.0.C.'s ranging up to 4 percent. Modeling results indicate that middle Jurassic shales are presently mature for liquid generation within portions of the Sag, with maximum generation taking place during the Tertiary. Potential hydrocarbon generation yields, based on 60 meters of mature source shale, are 20,000 B0E/acre for gas and 75,000 B0E/acre for liquids. Prospects within the region could
AAPG Search and Discover Article #91019©1996 AAPG Convention and Exhibition 19-22 May 1996, San Diego, California