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Georgia spans an inter-montane region between the Greater Caucasus Mountains in the north, marking the border with Russia, and the Lesser Caucasus Mountains in the south.

Within this geological suture lie two basins; the Rioni Basin in the west that stretches offshore into the Black Sea, and the Kura/Kartli Basin in the east forming the western end of a geological axis that runs from Tbilisi to Baku in Azerbaijan where it is known as the Kura Basin.

Rioni and Kartli/Kura Basins

Georgia’s basins are squeezed between two thrusted boundaries. Globalshift recognises that the sedimentary successions are similar to those of the oil productive regions of the Northern Caucasus in Russia but significantly more disrupted. Source rocks comprise the widespread Oligocene to Lower Miocene Maikop shale and shales in the Upper Eocene. Potential oil bearing Lower Jurassic shales are also present.

Productive reservoir rocks are Middle Eocene fractured volcanic tuffs, responsible for Georgia’s biggest oil field, Samgori. Cretaceous dolomites and Middle Miocene and Upper Eocene sandstones are also oil- and gas-bearing.

The fields are structurally complex. Most were discovered on the basis of seeps and surface geological mapping and they are difficult to image on seismic data due to their complex fault patterns and the erratic quality of their reservoirs. The geology of the offshore part of the Rioni basin is little known as few wells have been drilled.