Oil company OMV demobilises staff in Tataouine

Due to stoppage on production in sites for over a month

10 September, 12:47

    (ANSAmed) - TUNIS, SEPTEMBER 10 - Tunisian oil company OMV, a subsidiary of the Austrian OMV, will "demobilise its personnel" in the coming days at the oil fields in Tatouine in southern Tunisia, due to the total stoppage on production at the sites that has been going on for more than a month.

    "This decision was taken due to the lack of prospects regarding the continuation of the sit-ins at El Kamour, which was very costly," Hamed Matri, advisor to the industry and energy minister, told TAP news agency.

    The oil pumping valve in El Kamour was, in fact, closed on July 16 by protesters calling for improved development and employment for the region and for the complete implementation of the deal signed by the government and labour unions on June 16, 2017.

    An OMV official told TAP that the decision to demobilise staff at the fields in Tatouine is "temporary".

    However, resumption of the activity remains difficult because interruption of an oil field affects the sustainability of its production. The official said the company is also evaluating the possibility of demobilising staff in the "Nawara" field, a strategic infrastructure project for Tunisia allowing the development of gas resources in the south of the country.

    For OMV, this joint project with state company ETAP is an important part of its growth strategy in Tunisia and in its portfolio of international activities.

    At least 2,000 employees will be put out of work in the Tataouine region.

    The salaries of the company's staff have already been reduced by 40% and another downward revision is still possible.

    "The Tunisia site is strategic for the company, since it was the site of the project of the first international exploration and production of OMV in 1971," said OMV Tunisia.

    OMV's activities currently focus on drilling and infrastructure development in the country's south.

    Tunisia represents an essential source of future potential development, particularly in natural gas, the same source said.


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