--> Algerian Saharan Platform Hydrocarbon Systems

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Algerian Saharan Platform Hydrocarbon Systems


Robin Crawford1

(1) BP, Sunbury on Thames, United Kingdom

 The Algerian Saharan Platform extends for approximately 1 million sq. km. and is divided into 30 sedimentary basins. All basins have: at least one and sometimes two oil prone excellent quality source rocks; good to moderate reservoir and seal quality rocks; and variable degrees of fault-associated structural development. Burial histories in all of the basins are sufficient to have generated oil and sometimes gas. All but two or three of the basins have recorded indications (tests or shows) of oil or gas in reservoir rocks. A large long-term upstream growth opportunity is provided by the fact that the industry is focused on only seven basins which cover a land area of 240,000 sq. km. (25% of the entire platform) yet the remaining 75% has active hydrocarbon systems but is under explored.

The industry in Algeria is nearly 50 years old but almost 10% of the captured hydrocarbons, including what is one of the country’s top five fields, have been found in a single trend in the last 10 years. Seismic acquisition and processing technology has rejuvenated exploration in Algeria. Technology has overcome the issues of deep plays in dune field exploration. Given that similar areas exist in Algeria where all of the elements of the hydrocarbon system are in place then the potential to discover similar trends in the future must be considered as probable.