Tunisia’s Minister of Energy, Mines and Renewable Energies, Khaled Kaddour, said that his country has no alternative but to increase fuel prices in the domestic market due to the rising costs of crude oil.
At a conference held at the Prime Minister’s offices, on Tuesday, Kaddour told reporters that the government is quarterly considering the oil and fuel international market to decide on prices according to the developments in crude oil prices.
Hence, the Tunisian government announced, last Friday, an increase in fuel prices for the third time during 2018, paralleling the augmentation of crude oil prices above $74 a barrel.
The Tunisian official added: “Nonetheless, we will continue supporting the costs of hydrocarbons, and we allocated $913.9 million dollars in this year’s budget to do so. Thus, we have to increase funding for an additional $609 million so that the total amount of fuel subsidies reaches $ 1.523 billion”.
The International Monetary Fund called on the Tunisian authorities, in a statement issued on June 12, to make quarterly increases in fuel prices.
On the other hand, the Tunisian Energy Minister said that “the rate of domestic production of crude oil amounted to 43 thousand barrels per day, an average of about eight million barrels, during the first half of 2018”.
Meanwhile, he pointed out to “a slight decrease in oil production by four percent due to not granting enough new licenses of research, exploration, and development in this field”.
However, Kaddour noted that eight exploration licenses were granted during the second half of this year to foreign companies from America and Asia, without further identifying the names of these companies.