Tunisia Upstream: Strikes Over, Decline Continues, Hope Delayed To 2019

Tunisia oil output is down 10% year-on-year. A modest exploration uptick and a, not unlinked, key gas project holds out some prospect of a gas recovery.

Tunisia’s crude output averaged just 39,800 b/d for the first four months of 2018, little more than 40% of the country’s 95,000 b/d demand. Whilst output was slightly higher than the average figure for 2017 this was only ‘thanks’ to the massive series of strikes and sit-ins which crippled output last summer ( MEES, 2 June 2017 ): output for 2017 as a whole, at 38,700 b/d was the lowest since 1966, Tunisia’s virgin year of oil production.

A comparison of the first four months of 2018 with the same period a year earlier offers a clearer picture of the underlying state of play. And the picture is not a positive one: oil output is down by 10% overall, with output falling in each of the key producing regions (see chart). (CONTINUED - 1345 WORDS)


chart Tunisia Crude Output: At Just Under 40,000 B/D For Jan-Apr 2018 Production Is Down 10% Year-On-Year And At Less Than Half 2009 Levels (‘000 B/D)
chart Gas Output Appears Relatively Stable, But Only Thanks To Petrofac's Chergui Rebounding From Near-Zero Due To Strikes For Much Of 2016 And 2017. Production At Shell And Eni's Offshore Fields Is Down 15% (Mn Cfd)