Tunisian crude oil output dropped 4% by end of March

Provisional report, data affected by COVID-19 lockdown

04 May, 17:55

    (ANSAmed) - TUNIS, MAY 4 - Tunisian crude oil output dropped by 4% at the end of March compared to the same month last year, to 421 tons, according to the Energy Situation Report for the first quarter of 2020.

    The report was released by the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Energy Transition, the TAP news agency reported on Monday.

    It noted that the report was provisional due to the exceptional circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as concerns hydrocarbons and natural gas production.

    It added that production had continued to record a decline in several fields namely Ashtart (-18%), Adam (-24%), Cherouq (-26%), El Borma (-9%), Hasdrubal (-17%) and Ouedzar (-10%).

    The daily average of oil production rose from 38 thousand barrels/day at the end of March 2019, to 35.9 thousand barrels/day at the end of March 2020.

    ''The report underlines, however, that production in the various concessions continues at a normal pace, despite the decrease due to the natural decline in the main oil fields,'' TAP noted. ''It states that there have been no major production disruptions during the lockdown period; however, a suspension or postponement of drilling or maintenance on some wells has been recorded, which will negatively impact production in the coming months.'' ''According to the same report, natural gas resources (national production + tax package) reached 479 ktoe (kilotons of oil equivalent) at the end of March 2020, thus recording a 13% drop compared to the same period of the previous year, following the 6% fall in production and the 34% drop in the tax package on the transit of Algerian gas at the end of March 2020, compared to the same month in 2019,'' TAP noted. The pandemic that hit Europe, and Italy especially hard, has had an impact on energy demand and thus on the quantity of gas that transits from Algeria to Italy through Tunisia. The lowest level ever recorded was seen in March 2020.

    (ANSAmed).

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