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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 42 (1958)

Issue: 7. (July)

First Page: 1631

Last Page: 1679

Title: Petroleum Developments in Africa in 1957

Author(s): Hollis D. Hedberg (2)


Petroleum production in Africa reached a new all-time high of 18,502,728 bbls. in 1957. This represented an increase of more than 5 million bbls. over 1956, contributed largely by the newly developed Belayim field in Egypt as well as by increased production from other Egyptian fields and the coming into commercial production of the Gabon fields of French Equatorial Africa. Angola showed a slight increase in production and Nigeria for the first time entered the roll of producing countries. Both Algeria and Morocco showed declines as compared with 1956.

Eighty-seven exploratory wells were completed in 1957 of which 24% were successful. Three oil discoveries were made in French Equatorial Africa, 1 in Angola, 1 in Egypt, 1 in Libya, and 1 in Morocco. Ten gas discoveries were made in Algeria, 2 in French Equatorial Africa, 1 in Cameroun, and 1 in Morocco. Exploratory wells were completed but without any successes in French West Africa, Ghana, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Somalia, British Somaliland, Tunisia, and Zanzibar. One hundred nineteen development wells were completed with 76% success. A total of 1,410,661 ft. of hole was drilled in Africa in 1957 and at the end of the year 74 rigs were in operation.

Geological-geophysical exploratory work was particularly heavy in Algeria, French Equatorial Africa, French West Africa, Libya, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria, Somalia, British Somaliland, and Tanganyika. Party-months of various types of exploratory work for the whole of Africa were as follows: surface geology 476, seismograph 540, gravity 267, ground magnetometer 29, airborne magnetometer 39, electrical 7, structure drill 23. This represents all-time highs for seismic and gravity operations.

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