The primary energy balance deficit increased 2% in Q1 of 2023 compared to Q1 of 2022, it emerges from a report on the energy situation in March released Tuesday by the National Observatory of Energy and Mines coming under the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy.
The primary energy balance shows a deficit of 1.19 Mtoe at the end of March 2023, taking into account Algerian gas royalties, against 1.17 Mtoe at the end of March 2022.
The energy independence rate – the ratio of primary energy resources to primary consumption, stood at 47% at the end of Q1 compared to 51% at the end of March last year. This rate would hover around 37% at the end of March 2023 excluding royalties against 41% at the end of March 2022.
Primary energy resources totaled 1.1 Mtoe (millions of tons of oil equivalent), dropping 13% compared to the same period last year. This decline is mainly due to the decrease in national production of crude oil and natural gas. Primary energy resources are dominated by the national oil and gas production which both account for 75% of all primary energy resources.
The share of renewable electricity (production by the Tunisian Company of Electricity and Gas) is low, accounting (for 1% of primary resources. Likewise, a 10% drop in Algerian gas royalties was reported compared to March 2022.
Demand for primary energy fell 6% as was the case for natural gas (-7%) and oil products (-4%).
Natural gas demand dropped 7% due to lower purchases of Algerian gas. The national company resorted to electricity imports to address national power demand.
The structure of demand showed a number of changes: the share of demand of oil products rose to 48% from 47% one year earlier; that of natural gas edged down from 53% in March 2022 to 52%.