Abstract The North Algeria is an under explored petroleum province. Significant oil and gas shows have been encountered, and oil seeps are well known in the most part of the area. Oil has been extracted for the century in the Cheliff basin (Tliouanet and Ain Zeft fields). The first oil commercial discovery in Algeria on 1948 is noted in Oued Gueterini field in the Hodna basin and it's produce until present time.
The North Algeria is in a geologically complex area encompassing the Offshore, Tellian atlas, Saharian atlas and constitute the zones of alpine age deformation.
Although petroleum exploration in the northern foldbelt has been unsuccessfull; several wells were drilled on surface structure without seismic control and understanding the shifting structure in the subsurface, whereas others were not drilled deep enough to reach the deeper targets.
The northern foldbelt area is expected to have a similar geodynamic and tectonic as the Apennines (Italia), the Zagros (Iran), which contains important oil and gas discoveries.
The Offshore is a continental shelf with a tertiary and quaternary formation. The petroleum target is the mio-pliocene sands reservoirs, sourced from the messinian shales with a TOC values 0.56 to 2.60% at HBB–1 well in the occidental part. A new seismic have been acquired on 2000 by Western Geco shows a thick sedimentary deposit in the deep water zone with a variety of trapping styles related to the conventional anticline, faults, salt dome...
In the Tellian atlas, two main basins are developed, the Cheliff in the west (mointain basin) and the Hodna in the central part (for deep basin). The petroleum system is proved on this basins by small fields and oil seeps from the miocene sands (shallow reservoirs). The cretaceous could be an important deep target no reached by wells. The upper miocene reservoir is charged from the messinian shales; the lower miocene reservoir sands and upper cretaceous carbonates are charged from the cretaceous shales and marls source rocks.
In the saharian atlas which is an elongate trough between the saharian platform in the south and the Tellian atlas in the north, a potential basin is developed in the oriental part (south east constantine basin) where four oil fields and one gas field have been discovered in the cretaceous play.
The north province could be a promising area for hydrocarbons exploration, detailled structural work based on adequate and high resolution seismic is needed to define the model and geometry of traps related to this complex area.
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ALGERIA, NORTHERN FOLDBELT AND OFFSHORE AREA: A FUTURE HYDROCARBONS PROVINCE Introduction Northern Algeria is an under explored petroleum province. Significant oil and gas shows have been encountered and a number of small discoveries were made over 40 years ago (Oued Gueterini, Djebel Foua and Djebel Onk)