Unlike its prolific oil producing neighbour, Algeria, Tunisia’s upstream oil industry is modest. Tunisia had proven reserves of oil of 308 million barrels and a production rate of 81,000 bpd of oil and 1,000 bpd of condensate in 2000.
Intensive exploration has been carried out in Tunisia since the discovery of oil in neighbouring Algeria and in May 1964, Tunisia’s first oil field, El Borma, was discovered in the southern region near its frontier with Algeria. Areas of hydrocarbon importance include the Gulf of Gabes and the Ghadames Basin in the southern part of the country. In addition, exploration onshore in central Tunisia has revealed potential oil and gas fields. These discoveries were made in the Paleozoic Ghadames basin and along the north and east end of the Central Tunisian Cretaceous carbonate platform. The size of the oil and gas reserves has yet to be reliably determined although the US Department of Energy quotes Tunisia as having over 300 million barrels in proven oil reserves with the estimated recoverable reserves being even higher than that.
Tunisia’s main oil producing fields are El Borma, Ashtart and Sidi el Kilani while the principal gas fields are the El Borma field where associated gas is produced, and the offshore Miskar field. Tunisia produces heavy crude types, its best known being El Borma and Ashtart. Twenty-eight Tunisian and foreign companies are currently engaged in hydrocarbon operations. Foreign companies include Agip, Anadarko, EHT, British Gas, Centurion Oil, CMS Oil and Gas, Samedan Oil, Marathon Oil, Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (Kufpec), Total, Fina, Neste Oy, Nuevo Energy, Oranje Nassau, Union Texas Petroleum, Petro-Canada, Phillips Petroleum, Pluspetrol, EGEP and Walter Enserch.
Tunisia has instituted strong economic policies which include trade agreements with the European Union and free-trade zone agreements with Libya and Morocco. Sound fiscal policies have resulted in Tunisia being listed as one of the African country with the soundest growth prospects. The new Hydrocarbons Code became effective on 20 February 2000 and applies to all future exploration and production contracts. The Law introduces some new incentives as Tunisia aims to further develop oil exports.
The Ministry of Industry regulates the oil industry in Tunisia. The state owned petroleum company is L’Enterprise Tunisienne d’Activites Petrolieres (ETAP) while the Société Nationale de Distribution du Pètrole (SNDP) is the national distribution and marketing company.
Agip Tunisia BV, British Gas Tunisia, Ecumed Petroleum Corporation, EGEP, EHT, Entreprise Tunisienne des Activities Petrolieres, ExxonMobil Tunisia, ExxonMobil Tunisie, Fina, Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company, Oranje Nassau, Pluspetrol Tunisia, Services, Constructions and Environment Company, Shell Tunisia, Société Tunisienne des Industries du Raffinage, TOTAL, Trans Tunisian Pipeline Company Limited, Walter Enserch :[ Add More ]
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