The present paper describes the results of analysis of depositional environment and tectonic setting within Karaton-Tengiz uplift zone in the southeastern part of the Pre-Caspian basin. The main purpose of the study is generalization and interpretation of geological and geophysical data for creation of stratigraphic charts and a description of lithological and tectonic processes for reconstruction of the structural history of pre-salt prospective traps located close to Tengiz field.

It is known that carbonates are "born, not made"; hence, their characteristics can give an insight into their depositional environment. The combination of such factors as availability of the light, warm climate, chemical composition and transparency of the water define the growth of the reef-building organisms. The highest carbonate production takes place close to the water surface; therefore, facies and texture of carbonates may be linked to the sea level changes. This means that understanding of the depositional environment and sequence stratigraphy may be used for a potential reservoir description where no well data is available. As a general understanding of the relative sea level fluctuations and its effect on carbonate growth, comparison of vertical thickness of studied platforms was carried out.

Analysis of regional seismic reflectors P3 (Top of Middle Devonian, tentative), P2D (Top of Upper Devonian), P2 (Top of Carboniferous), P1 (Top of Permian), VI (Kungurian salt deposits), V (surface of unconformity, Triassic), III (Top of Jurassic), II (Top of Lower Cretaceous) was also carried out for understanding of tectonic processes. Dipping of reflectors, thickness and depth variation of time-equivalent units, unconformities may indicate the change in tectonic setting. The shallowest depth of top of carbonates is observed on Tazhigali-Pustynnaya structure, gradually deepening towards Ansagan and Maksat to the south-southeast. Also, post-salt III and V reflective horizons are inclined from the north to the south of Karaton-Tengiz uplift zone.

Tectonic deepening in the south-southeast direction took place in several stages. The first stage, most probably, took place in Late Devonian–Early Carboniferous, as the result of which Ansagan and Maksat structures drowned. In the northern part of the Karaton-Tengiz uplift, the growth of reefs continued up to Late Carboniferous.

Well logging interpretation and published papers were integrated when possible. As the result, a conceptual model of the geological history and stratigraphic charts were created for the studied region.

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