Hassi Messaoud oil field, Algeria

Located in the center of Algeria, the Hassi Messaoud oil field is operated by the state-owned company Sonatrach and is the largest oil field in Algeria.


Located in the center of Algeria, the Hassi Messaoud oil field, which was discovered in 1956, is the most ancient oil station in the country. It was developed and is currently operated by the Algerian state-owned company Sonatrach and is also the largest oil field in Algeria. The presence of Sonatrach and the oil production activity has been related to different protests over the years.

See more...
Basic Data
NameHassi Messaoud oil field, Algeria
ProvinceOuargla Province
SiteHassi Messaoud
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Oil and gas refining
Specific CommoditiesCrude oil
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsOil production per day: 350,000 barrels per day

Estimated oil resources: 6.4 billion barrels – around 60% of the country's proven oil reserves
Project Area (in hectares)130,000
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Population40,000 – 50,000
Start Date01/01/2001
Company Names or State EnterprisesSonatrach from Algeria
Relevant government actorsEntreprise nationale des services aux puits (ENSP)

Centre de Développement des Energies Renouvelabes
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersWomen Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML): http://www.wluml.org/

Comité national pour la défense des chômeurs (CNDDC)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingIndustrial workers
Trade unions
Forms of MobilizationStreet protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Hunger strikes and self immolation
Health ImpactsVisible: Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..)
Potential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights
Potential: Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..)
OtherThere are complaints of bad living conditions
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCriminalization of activists
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Violent targeting of activists
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Most of the men carrying out the attacks on the women in 2001 were sentenced in absentia and were not brought to justice. Operations are still going on and unemployed protesters' demands were not heard or implemented. The element of "environmental justice" is not salient in this case.
Sources and Materials

Centre de Développement des Energies Renouvelables (2013), Réalisation de la Nouvelle ville de Hassi-Messaoud: Lancement des travaux de réalisation, Portail Algérien des Energies Renouvelables, 29 July 2013
[click to view]


Sonatrach, Nos activitiés
[click to view]

Algeria and big discoveries, Oil and Gas Journal, 13 December 2004
[click to view]

Extraction of Crude Petroleum in Algeria – Overview, Mbendi Information Services
[click to view]

“Nous paralyserons la ville si nous n'avons pas la réponse que nous attendons”, Allal Rouabeh, Petit-fils de Messaoud, fondateur de Hassi Messaoud, by Houria Alioua, El Watan, 14 December 2014
[click to view]

Demonstration over services, jobs kills 2, wounds 25 in Algeria, by MP/KA/HRB, PRESS TV, 29 November 2014
[click to view]

Algeria: two protesters killed in clashes with police, Reuters, AFP, Al-Akhbar English, 29 November 2014
[click to view]

Des chômeurs assiègent la base de Sonatrach à Hassi-Messaoud, by Essaid Wakli, Algerie Focus, 9 December 2014
[click to view]

Algeria: Urgently ensure the protection of women in Hassi Messaoud!, Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML), 15 April 2010
[click to view]

Algeria: Attacks on women in Hassi Messaoud, WLUML
[click to view]

Hassi Messaoud: Les sans-emploi dénoncent la discrimination, by Kaddour Lakhdar, El Watan, 11 December 2014
[click to view]

Des manifestants chargés par les forces de l'ordre, by Houria Alioua, El Watan, 17 December 2014,
[click to view]

OUARGLA: Des chômeurs de Ouargla marchent vers Hassi Messaoud, Réflexion, 25 February 2013
[click to view]

Le cauchemar des femmes lynchées d'El Haicha, by Anis Allik, L'Express, 12 February 2010
[click to view]

Media Links

Sonatrach, Algeria Map
[click to view]

Other Documents

[click to view]

Meta Information
Last update13/10/2015