Petroleum production in Africa in 1961 attained a new all-time high of 179,160,960 bbls., representing an increase of 80% over the previous year. This gain was due largely to a doubling of production from the Sahara, an increase of 10,000,000 bbls. from Nigeria, and the production of some 6,600,000 bbls. from Libya - the first to be produced from that country. Producing countries in order of 1961 production are: Algeria (including Sahara), Egypt, Nigeria, Libya, Gabon, Congo Republic, Angola, Morocco, and Senegal; of these countries Libya is a newcomer. The opening of gas production from the giant Hassi R'Mel field in Algerian Sahara resulted in an increase in gas production of 30 times, to a total of nearly 33 billion cu. ft. Two-hundred seventy-three exploratory wells were completed in Africa in 1961, of which 24. 3,70 were successful. Of new discoveries 37 were made in Libya, 15 in Algeria, 8 in Nigeria, and 2 each in Angola, Gabon, and Morocco. Exploratory drilling was carried out this year without success in Congo Republic, Egypt, Gambia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Niger, Portuguese Guinea Senegal, Somalia, Spanish Sahara, Sudan, Tunisia, Union of South Africa, and Zanzibar, a total of 16 countries 313 development wells were completed during the year, of which 86% were productive. The development drilling was largely in Algerian Sahara, Libya, Egypt, Nigeria, and Angola. A total of 3,704,219 ft. of hole was drilled in 1961, which is practically the same as last year. At the end of 1961, a total of 111 rigs were active, a decrease of 5 from last year. Geological-geophysical work was most extensive in Libya, Algerian Sahara and Spanish Sahara. Party-months for the whole of Africa were as follows: surface geology - 478.5, seismograph - 1169.8, gravity - 164.7, ground magnetometer - 8, air magnetometer - 5.3, and structure drilling - 21.6. New concession activity took place in Algeria (including Sahara), Bechuanaland, Chad, Egypt, Kenya, Libya, Sierra Leone, Spanish Sahara, Southwest Africa, and Tunisia. Exploratory work was terminated and all concessions dropped in Portuguese Guinea, and extensive relinquishments of acreage were reported from Senegal and Somalia.

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