4 September 2014

Tunisia: 'Laws On Hydrocarbon Exploration Permits Need to Be Passed Swiftly' - Jomaa in Exclusive Interview With Tap

Tunis — Interim Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa said "laws related to the energy sector, particularly hydrocarbon exploration permits and their extension need to be passed swiftly."

He stressed in an exclusive interview with TAP that the "issue must be handled away from partisan politics, adding that only the national interest has to be upheld." "Nobody has the right to block, for any reason, oil permits," he emphasised, saying "Tunisia cannot afford such a continued blockage, while it is fighting the terrorist threat that requires securing supply sources."

"The non-adoption of laws on the energy sector, does not serve the country's interest," according to the Prime Minister. It rather "sends negative signals to foreign investors and particularly those operating in Tunisia, especially if they are accused of corruption or called vampires."

These blockages have proved very costly for Tunisia, he stressed as they resulted in increased deficit in the energy balance due to lower export of crude oil (-11%) and increased natural gas imports (+66.9%).

Production of crude oil and natural gas fell 15% which led to a negative growth of non-manufacturing industries (-5.8%), resulting in a decline in growth rate to 2% in the first quarter of 2014 and 2.1% in the first half of 2014. "This rate is short of expectations," according to the Prime Minister.

Mehdi Jomaa also noted that the energy sector "is well regulated and governed by advanced laws organising hydrocarbon production, prospection and exploration.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2014 Tunis Afrique Presse. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.