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AAPG Bulletin


AAPG Bulletin, V. 87, No. 10 (October 2003), P. 1653-1680.

Copyright copy2003. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.

Stratigraphy, microfacies, and petroleum potential of the Mauddud Formation (AlbianndashCenomanian) in the Arabian Gulf basin

F. N. Sadooni,1 A. S. Alsharhan2

1Department of Geology, University of United Arab Emirates, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates; email: [email protected]
2Department of Geology, University of United Arab Emirates, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates; email: [email protected]


F. N. Sadooni has been an associate professor and chairman of the Department of Geology, United Arab Emirates University since September 2001. He received a Ph.D. in petroleum geology from the University of Bristol, United Kingdom, in 1978. After working with Iraq National Oil as a senior exploration geologist for 13 years, Fadhil joined Yarmouk University, Jordan in 1991 and then worked as a consultant petroleum geologist in Auckland, New Zealand. In 1998, he joined the University of Qatar as assistant professor before moving to the United Arab Emirates University. His research interests include carbonate reservoir characterization and evaporites. He is a member of the AAPG.

A. S. Alsharhan is professor of geology and dean of the Faculty of Science at the United Arab Emirates University. He received a Ph.D. in petroleum geology from the University of South Carolina in 1985. He has authored and published over 80 scientific papers. He coauthored Sedimentary Basins and Petroleum Geology of the Middle East (1997) with A. E. Nairn and Hydrogoelogy of an Arid Region: Arabian Gulf and Adjacent Areas (2001) with Z. Rizk, A. E. Nairn, D. Bakhit, and S. Al-Hajari. He coedited Quaternary Deserts and Climate Change (1998) with K. W. Glennie, G. Whittle, and C. Kendall and Middle East Models of Jurassic/Cretaceous Carbonate Systems (2000) with R. W. Scott. His research interests include Holocene coastal sabkhas of the Arabian Gulf region and the geology and hydrocarbon habitats of the Middle East and north Africa. He is a member of the AAPG, SEPM, the International Association of Sedimentologists, and the Geological Society of London.


The authors are indebted to the Department of Geology at the University of Qatar and the University of the United Arab Emirates for providing the required technical assistance and to Christopher Kendall and A. E. M. Nairn, who reviewed the original manuscript and made many useful amendments. The paper benefited significantly from an extensive review by James Lee Wilson.


The Albian–Cenomanian Mauddud Formation extends over most parts of the Arabian basin including north Iraq. The formation consists mainly of Orbitolina-bearing limestone with local basin margin rudist buildups in the offshore North field of Qatar and northeast Iraq. Extensive dolomitization, with wide variations in both extent and texture, has been reported from both outcrops and wells. The Jurassic–Cretaceous pelagic strata are probably the possible source for the Mauddud Formation oil in northern Iraq, whereas indigenous sources in the Mauddud strata and Nahr Umr shales, as well as the Upper Jurassic rocks, are probably the source rocks in the southern parts in the basin. Porosity of 10–35% and permeability of 10–110 md have been reported from different fields of the basin. This porosity is attributed to a combination of dolomitization, fracturing, and dissolution. There are two main oil provinces where the Mauddud Formation is a major oil-producing reservoir. The northern province includes Iraq's oil fields such as Ain Zalah, Bai Hassan, and Jambur. The southern province includes the Ratawi field in southern Iraq, Raudhatain, Sabriya, and Bahra fields in Kuwait, Bahrain (Awali) field in Bahrain, and Fahud and Natih fields in Oman. The formation has high oil potential in the southern and southeastern fields of Iraq and the offshore areas of Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

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