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Petroleum production in Africa in 1959 attained a new all-time high of 41,472,057 bbls., representing an increase of 36% over the previous year. This increase came largely from Algerian Sahara, Nigeria, and Gabon. Egypt continues to be the leading producing country but showed a slight decrease as compared with 1958.
One hundred eighty-five wildcat wells were completed in Africa in 1959, of which 26% were successful. Of new discoveries, 14 were made in Libya, 9 in Nigeria, 7 in Algerian Sahara, 2 in Angola, and one each in Egypt, Cameroun, and Senegal. Exploratory wells were completed but without success in Congo, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Somalia, British Somaliland, Tanganyika, Tunisia, and Zanzibar. Two hundred twenty-two development wells were completed during the year, of which 86% were producers. More than half of all development wells were in Algerian Sahara. A total of 2,984,461 ft. of hole was drilled in Africa in 1959, an increase of 35% over 1958, and at the end of the year 106 rigs were in operation.
Geological-geophysical exploratory work was most extensive in Libya and Algeria. Party-months of various types of exploratory work for the whole of Africa were as follows: surface geology--710, seismograph--896, gravity--125, ground magnetometer--35, airborne magnetometer--12, structure drill--27. Concession activity was particularly great in Algeria and Libya and in Spanish Sahara.
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