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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 65 (1981)

Issue: 10. (October)

First Page: 2047

Last Page: 2075

Title: North Africa

Author(s): M.-A. Nicod (1)


The total area covered by petroleum rights in the six countries described in this paper increased by more than 17% in 1980 compared to 1979. Joint venture agreements were finalized for 19 blocks over 94,000 km2 in the Algerian venture. (See Figure 1 and Tables 1-6.)

Although official information is scarce for Algeria and Libya, seismic activity probably increased in 1980 compared to 1979.

Exploration drilling activity increased with 121 wildcats drilled compared to 93 during the previous year. This effort led to 40 discoveries, a 34.5% success ratio. Chevron was especially successful in wildcatting, with 6 oil discoveries for 8 wells drilled in the interior basins of Sudan. One Moroccan discovery can be considered as a highlight: the BRPM Meskala 101 well in the Essaouira basin found an apparently large amount of gas in Triassic sandstones. This discovery deserves special attention, since the gas has been found in Triassic pays rather than in the usual Jurassic pays in the Essaouira basin.

Oil production in North Africa decreased from about 13.5% in 1980, with about 3,405,000 barrels of oil per day compared to 3,939,500 barrels of oil per day in 1979. When oil output strongly decreased in Algeria (-16.4%) and Libya (-15.6%), Tunisian production peaked at 116,287 barrels of oil per day and Egypt production also peaked at 584,148 barrels of oil per day.

Total gas production in 1980 strongly declined from 44%, mostly due to the decline of the Algerian gas production.

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