Abstract

The Rhourde el Baguel field, located in the Ghadames basin, is one of the largest oil fields in Algeria. It produces oil from fractured Cambrian sandstones at subsea depths of 2300–3070 m. The structure is reinterpreted as a compressive fold related to two reverse faults, which cut and deform a preexisting normal fault. The structure formed during three main episodes of deformation: (1) Triassic to Liassic extension resulting in normal faults having significant throw; (2) Middle Jurassic flowage of Liassic salt, resulting in low-amplitude structures in this unit; and (3) Austrian (Early Cretaceous) compression resulting in a basement-involved fault-propagation fold. The revised structural model explains the complex fault patterns and anomalous thickness variations of units observed in a number of deep wells on the west flank of the structure. The model has been used to sidetrack some existing deep wells into locations within the field and to optimize the location of new wells in the field.

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