Crude oil production posted a noticeable increase in February 2012, reaching 73,000 barrels per day, against 65,000 barrels in January of that year, said Khaled Kadour, Director General of Energy at the Ministry of Industry, the official news agency TAP reported in reference to a press conference held last Saturday in Tunis.
“The official said the increase will certainly help increase the production of hydrocarbons (oil, gas, LPG) that will reach 6.74 million tons of oil equivalent (TOE) during the year 2012, the agency adds.
In 2011, domestic production of oil (6.42 Mtoe) fell by 9%, compared to 2010, he said.
He added that domestic demand for petroleum products and natural gas, declined by 6% and 2%, respectively, during the same period.
The official also said that during the current year prospecting will be launched in 24 new sites and that efforts will focus on the exploitation of small and medium deposits in order to increase oil production.
He recalled that the deposits of El Borma and Ashtart provide 50% of the national production. Referring to the “oil field of Kairouan,” Mr. Kadour said estimates will be validated only after the drilling of exploration wells and extraction of the product.
If these potential reserves are proven, the Ministry of Industry will announce them officially, he said. Investment of around 2.597 billion dinars will be allocated to the hydrocarbons sector in 2012, against 1.399 billion dinars in 2011.
Taoufik Ben Dali, Director General of the Tunisian Company of Refining Industries (STIR) indicated, on his part, that six hundred thousand toe (tons of oil equivalent) of the domestic oil production, which reached 3. 29 million toe in 2011, are refined locally and the rest is exported.