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Significant rightholding changes took place in central and southern Africa during 1986. Angola, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Somalia, Tanzania, and Zambia announced awards or acreage open for bidding. Decreases in exploratory rightholdings occurred in Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire, Togo, Gabon, Angola, Namibia, and Malagasy Republic. In Gabon and Angola, relinquishments took place in conjunction with awards of production leases. Countries reporting increases in exploration acreage under lease include Senegambia, Nigeria, and Somalia.
Fewer wells and less footage were drilled in 1986 compared to 1985. Total drilling decreased by 23% as 217 wells were completed compared to 289 in 1985. Footage drilled during 1986 declined by 52%; about 1.3 million ft were drilled compared to about 2.7 million feet in 1985. The success rate for exploration wells of 34% during 1986 is due to considerably higher success rates in Nigeria and Gabon compared to 1985. Significant discoveries were made in Nigeria, Angola, Congo, and Gabon.
Seismic acquisition was the major geophysical activity during 1986. Seismic activity (2-D and 3-D) decreased by 12% to about 230 crew-months. Total 2-D seismic kilometers recorded increased by 26% to about 82,000 km due to significant 2-D marine seismic activity in Nigeria and Angola. Surface geology, photogeology, geochemistry, gravimetry, and aeromagnetic surveys decreased compared to 1985.
Total oil production in 1986 was 834 million bbl (about 2.2 million BOPD), an increase of 2%, with the most significant increases in Cameroon and Angola. The production share of OPEC countries (Nigeria and Gabon) versus non-OPEC countries increased to 72% in 1986 compared to 67% in 1985.
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