Political turmoil curbed oil and gas investment, says minister Nation is suffering high unemployment, declining energy output Social and political unrest in Tunisia is reducing energy production, adding to the economic pressure on the fragile nation that was the only real success story to emerge from the Arab Spring. The North African country’s energy-import bill has risen 45 percent to 5.5 billion dinars ($2.5 billion) since 2010, government data show. Domestic oil production dropped by about a quarter over the same period to 63,000 barrels a day last year, according to BP Plc data. Only one exploration well has been drilled this year, instead of the eleven planned, and international companies are pulling out amid strikes and protests. “Exploration, research and development of the hydrocarbon sector witnessed a significant decline in recent years, mainly due to social unrest and political instability,” Minister of Energy and Mines Mongi Marzouk said […]
At least 10 people have been killed in clashes between Tunisian police and unidentified gunmen near the Libyan border on Monday, authorities said, amid increasing concern that violent extremism in Libya could destabilize the region. The gunmen targeted a police station and military facilities at dawn Monday in the border town of Ben Guerdane in eastern Tunisia, Interior Ministry spokesman Yasser Mosbah told the Associated…
The United Kingdom will send a group of 20 soldiers to Tunisia to prevent Islamic State fighters from crossing the country’s border with Libya, British Defense Minister Michael Fallon said, Reuters reported March 1. Fallon, speaking in front of the British Parliament on Feb. 29, said the United Kingdom has no plans for deploying combat troops to Libya, adding that any deployment would be contingent on permission from the Libyan government. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks in Tunisia , including a March 2015 museum attack in Tunis that killed 23 people and a June 2015 beach attack that killed dozens of European tourists.
The Chouchet El Atrous-1 (Cat-1) well, drilled by Mazarine Energy Tunisia BV in the Zaafrane permit in central Tunisia, has discovered two net oil-bearing reservoirs with combined 38-m net pay. Primary objectives of the Cat-1 were to test the Ordovician El Hamra and El Atchane formations. Each zone has confirmed 19-m net pay. On test, the Cat-1 flowed 4,300 bo/d and 395,000 cu m/day of natural gas. The Cat-1 is the first of a two-well campaign, the company said. Compagnie Tunisienne de Forage drilled the Cat-1 well, which reached a total depth of 3,950 m. The DGH-1 well will follow. The Zaafrane permit spans an area of 5,168 sq km in central Tunisia. Mazarine Energy is the operator of the permit, with state-owned Enterprise Tunisienne d’Activites Petrolieres (ETAP) and Medex Petroleum (Tunisia) Ltd. as partners.
Circle Oil, an Irish exploration company with a focus on the Middle East, said it started an offshore drilling campaign in Tunisia, its first. The company said it started drilling operations in the offshore reserves of the El Mediouni-1 exploration well. The company said the well is located in areas already producing oil and natural gas. Its primary target is dubbed the Birsa Sands. Circle Oil said Monday it estimates there may be as much as 46 million barrels of oil in the prospect, which it says is “substantially larger” than the recoverable commercial threshold of 10 million barrels of oil. Drilling operations in the company’s first-ever offshore well should take as long as seven weeks, it said. Tunisian oil production has declined steadily since reaching a peak of 120,000 barrels of oil per day. A 2014 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates Tunisia has “significant” formations […]
TUNIS—Tunisia’s opposition gave the ruling Ennahda party a Friday morning deadline to resign or face broader protests, while demonstrations throughout the country turned violent, with antigovernment activists setting Ennahda offices on fire. The National Salvation Front, a coalition of opposition parties, called on more of its supporters to step up a campaign of civil disobedience, which on Thursday involved a general strike in two cities, if the government remains. Some in the opposition, including the country’s largest labor group, the Tunisian General Labor Union, have stayed on the sidelines, hoping the conflict could be resolved with dialogue. In a troubling sign that the country was slipping further out of government control, the National Guard Union, representing police, also took to the streets Thursday, mourning the deaths of eight officers killed in clashes with militants the day before. The police were joined by thousands of students, who marched on two […]