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Source: www.africaecon.org

Africa Economic Institute

Tunisia: $24 billion Investments in Oil


Currently, Tunisia seeks to expand its oil and natural gas excavations to compensate for the decline in domestic production. According to statistics, the Ministry of Energy and Industry has issued 48 permits to 38 global and local oil excavation companies.

Currently, Tunisia seeks to expand its oil and natural gas excavations to compensate for the decline in domestic production. According to statistics, the Ministry of Energy and Industry has issued 48 permits to 38 global and local oil excavation companies.

Abdul-Aziz Al-Rasaa, the Minister of Energy and Industry, in a conference discussing the future of the energy sector of Tunisia, announced the aforementioned statistics. The minister added that 38 oil fields were discovered in 2008, compared to 14 in 2005.

Thus, the amount of investments in Tunisia’s energy sector has risen from $400 million in 2005, to $2400 ($2400 million or $2.4 billion?)in 2009. This increase in investment is attributed directly to increased local consumption of oil by 4% annually.

Tunisia used to export its premium quality oil overseas and import lesser quality oil to refine and consume locally. Moreover, the country used to have 2.2 million tons of left over oil until 1987. However, things gradually changed where Tunisia started to experience shortages of oil by 2001.

According to data, in 2009, Tunisia’s demand for energy will require energy sources that produce the equivalent of  9 million tons of oil. Currently, oil occupies 54% and gas 46% of the country’s total energy supply.

Furthermore, data also show that expenses related to gas subsidies by the government has risen from $600 million in 2007 to $1216 million in 2008.

Tunisians are working on regulating energy consumption, through extensive reliance on natural gas, lowering consumption in general, and further investing in excavations. According to the currently adopted development plan, the government intends to lower consumption by 20% as of 2011. Thus in order to achieve this target, the government decided to build an extra refinery for oil. The project will cost $1.9 billion and will produce around 6 million tons, which is double the current locally produced amount.

Tunisia is also undergoing planing for the construction of a nuclear power plant by 2020. A team of engineers and specialists was put together in 2007 to study the feasibility of the project, which will occupy an 800 hectare land mark, costing around $2.3 million, and expected to produce 1000 mega watts.

Tunisia has also shown interest in perusing renewable energy sources, especially solar energy, which reaches 460,000 households. Also a wind mill electricity generating station was installed in the coastal town of Al-Hawaria. Despite European and American monopoly over Tunisia’s energy sector, recently Russian and Chinese companies started penetrating the market.

Italy and Tunisia conjointly are constructing an electricity generating station that produced 1200 mega watts of which 400 mega watts will be allocated towards domestic consumption and the rest will be exported to Italy through the Mediterranean Sea. The contract between the two countries was signed last September, and came into effect as of today.

Source: www.AfricaEcon.org
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Source: www.africaecon.org