The Central and Meridional Atlas of Tunisia, contains significant accumulations of oil in early Cretaceous aged reservoirs. The active cretaceous hydrocarbon system is a product of unique paleogeographic and tectonic events that led to cretaceous deposition of organic-rich source rocks.

The analysis of different sources rocks from the Central and Meridional Atlas of Tunisia indicates that the Albian Lower Fahdene Fm has a substantial oil-generation potential. The Cenomanian-Turonian Bahloul Fm exhibits fair to high organic matter content and petroleum potential and is immature to mature. The Jurassic source rock, located in the Southern part of this area, exhibits fair to good organic matter content and petroleum potential.

Molecular characterization indicates that most of the produced oils appear to be sourced from a predominantly shaly marine and mature source rock deposited in suboxic to oxic environment. Oil stains located in the northern part of the area seems to be sourced by a marly or argillaceous limestone. Oil-oil correlations and molecular characteristics of selected source rock samples and maturation models suggests that oils were generated from similar source rock and/or organic facies. The Lower Fahdene Fm is the best source candidate to generate these fluid samples. The integration of benzocarbazoles as geochemical molecules tracer has permitted a relative estimation of the lateral migration distance for the different accumulations of the area.

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