Petrofac halts Tunisia gas production again
Oil and gas industry contractor Petrofac is halting gas production in Tunisia after two weeks of renewed protests on the southern Kerkennah islands, the company said yesterday. The announcement comes just three months after Petrofac restarted operations at Kerkennah’s Chergui gas field, following nine months of disruptions due to protests. Petrofac had threatened in September to shut down operations entirely and leave Tunisia, but the government reached a deal with protesters demanding jobs and development. Imed Darouich, head of Petrofac’s operations in the North African country, said the company was now being forced to halt operations again because protesters were blocking trucks and stocks were running out. “After 14 days of people blocking trucks, the company finds itself unable to produce,” he said. Petrofac officials declined to comment on local media reports that the company had once again told Tunisian authorities it would leave the country.