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Exploration Analysis

In North Africa, he giant producers Algeria and Libya have typically received the most attention from the international petroleum community. However, nestled between the two is Tunisia, a country promoting foreign investment in its petroleum sector, and prospective to firms searching out smaller, but economically attractive opportunities.

At present (1994), Tunisia produces about 90,000 BOPD, with gas production approaching MMCF/D. Most production is scattered among small pools; there are only three giant fields currently identified. Two of them produce oil, and the other is gas-bearing. Complex structure and thin source rocks, combined with post-emplacement tectonics (i.e., breaching of early traps), has limited the potential for giant fields. The major productive basins are located both onshore and offshore, with the onshore Saharan Platform being the historically most productive area.

As of year end 1994, Tunisia had produced approximately 965 million barrels of oil. The United States Geological Survey estimated that there are approximately 1.1 billion barrels of remaining proven oil reserves and an undiscovered potential of 2.0 billion barrels. Based on current oil production levels, Tunisia has a reserves life index of 30 years. This is in sharp contrast to other independent sources, which claim that Tunisia’s remaining proven oil reserves are 300 million barrels, yielding a reserves life index of only 8 years. The USGS (1991) pegged Tunisia’s proven gas reserves at 3.1 TCF, with undiscovered potential of 12 TCF, yielding a total endowment of approximately 15 TCF.

There is ample exploration opportunity and considerable onshore/offshore acreage available in Tunisia. Exploration work programs are negotiable with ETAP and permits can be awarded on the basis of a seismic option. The areas of highest prospectivity lie within the southern (Saharan Platform) and central onshore/offshore Gulf of Gabes and Hammamet, near commercial production. The government’s drive to increase gas production to displace domestic oil consumption improves the viability of exploring for gas. In addition, Tunisia is located close to large export markets in Europe, and can utilize a widespread network of major oil and gas pipelines.

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For more information contact:

Leslie Sears
Petrel Robertson Consulting Ltd.
500, 736- 8th Avenue S.W.
Calgary, Alberta
T2P 1H4

Phone: (403) 218-1618
Fax: (403) 262-9135

This summary, part of Petrel Robertson’s 1995 summary of exploration and development opportunities in 31 countries around the world, has not been updated. Some of the information, particularly relating to political and economic issues, is thus out of date. It is included, however, to demonstrate the breadth and depth of Petrel’s work in each of these nations.

Copyright © 2014 Petrel Robertson Consulting Ltd.