The sedimentary sequence in the Western Black Sea region of Turkey both onshore and offshore offers many possibilities for different hydrocarbon plays. This study presents a new play, which considers Carboniferous coals and shales as source beds, Cretaceous sandstones as reservoirs and Cretaceous shales and marls as seal rocks. The evaluation of this play is performed using the petroleum system approach. Results suggest that the coals and shales have a good to very good source rock potential for gas, that the Cretaceous synrift sandstones are good reservoirs. On the other hand, the sealing efficiency of respective Cretaceous units is assumed to be sufficient based on their lithological (shales and carbonaceous marls) characteristics. Stratigraphic traps, which formed by transgression and by onlap on paleohighs, were sealed and potentially available at 97 million years (ma) before present. Structural traps related to Early Cretaceous extension were also sealed around 97 ma. On the contrary, traps formed by folding and thrusting during the Alpine orogeny only formed during the last 50 ma. The timing of gas generation and migration was determined by one and two-dimensional basin modeling in one well and along a cross-section. The modeling results indicated that during the period between 90 and 42 ma, large volumes of gas were generated from the Carboniferous source rocks. Comparison with the age of stratigraphic and structural traps showed that stratigraphic and normal fault traps were potentially available for the entire volume of generated gas and that the other structural traps associated with Alpine orogeny were available only for gas generated and/or re-migrated during the last 50 ma. The evaluation of this new play results in the conclusion, that the Western Black Sea region is worthy of further exploration for conventional accumulations of thermogenic gas. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.