Sedimentary and structural setting of the Aptian reservoir deposits in the Kasserine area, west-central Tunisia

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Khaled Lazzez
Marzouk Lazzez
Moez Ben Fadhel
Ramla Ben Rabah
Taher Zouaghi


The Aptian hydrocarbon-producing reservoirs, in the onshore Semmama and Douleb oil fields of west-central Tunisia are characterized by a heterogeneous flow with continuous decline. Petroleum exploration in this area requires detailed knowledge of the structural development of the basin and its relationship to the reservoir sequence and the source rock distribution. The structural configuration of west-central Tunisia is characterized by NE-SW, NW-SE and N-S deep-seated faults, which outline tectonic structures and it is influenced by Triassic salt intrusions. During the Aptian period, the basin was extensive and shallow at the center, though moderately deep to the North. The northeast-southwest dominated synsedimentary extensional tectonics induced high and subsiding zones and thus controlled sedimentary deposition.

The Aptian reservoir is characterized by the lateral variation of sedimentary facies. The first zone, dominated by dolomitic lithofacies has been proven as a petroleum reservoir. The second zone corresponds to carbonate reef and para-reef facies. The third zone, trending north-south is characterized by shallow marine sedimentation, punctuated by episodes of detrital influx. The early Aptian is outlined by the emergence of Kairouan Island that took place in central Tunisia. This study facilitated mapping of the areas exhibiting hydrocarbon reservoir potential which resulted from the conjunction of extensional tectonics and salt ascension.


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