Tunisia’s upstream sector continues to be shunned by international firms despite this year’s surge in oil and gas prices. Shell has completed its exit from one license in the North African state and aims to quit altogether by year-end, yet no takers have been found for its assets.

Absent sizeable foreign investment, Tunisia’s oil and gas output will resume its downwards trend following last year’s output gains. With Tunisia now firmly a net importer, the energy crunch is weighing heavily on the economy, and the government is seeking fresh IMF support. Following July talks, the IMF noted that “discussions on a new Extended Fund Facility (EFF) to support the authorities’ economic policies and reforms have been productive.” (CONTINUED - 1093 WORDS)