HPR postpones until Wednesday examination of agreement on "Halk El Menzel" concession
16/07/2019 19:30, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) - The House of People's Representatives (HPR) postponed Tuesday the examination of the draft law on the adoption of the agreement on the operating permit "Halk El Menzel" (Gulf of Hammamet), to the plenary session scheduled for Wednesday.

This agreement was formulated by the government in order to adapt it to the new provisions of the hydrocarbon code, to guarantee the right of the Tunisian State and to fill gaps noted in this agreement, in force since 1979.

The "Halk EL Menzel" concession was granted as part of the authorisation to explore mining products, second group (fuels), under Act No. 22 of 1965, dated 28 June 1965.

This concession has been sold several times: initially, it was transferred to three companies, namely "Elf Aquitaine Tunisie", "AMF" and "Shell Tunisie".

Since 2004, it has been fully transferred to the company "AMF", which in turn transferred it in 2006 to the company "TOPIC", knowing that the company "Preussag Energy", holder of this licence since 1999, has chosen to comply with the provisions of the hydrocarbon code published in 1999.

This situation has led to a contradiction between the provisions of the agreement specific to the "Halk EL Menzel" permit, and those of the beylical decree dated January 1, 1953, on the one hand, and the articles of the hydrocarbon code on the other hand, particularly with regard to taxation and management systems, the conditions for granting the permit, its transmission and the development of the oil field, as well as with regard to the participation of the State and the Tunisian Company for Oil Activities and the duration of this permit.

At the same plenary session, the HPR adopted five draft laws on hydrocarbon exploration licences, including the specific agreement and its annexes on the hydrocarbon exploration licence "Teskraya" (96 for,3 against and 17 abstentions) and the "Mateline" licence (89 for, 2 against and 18 abstentions), in addition to the "Kef Abad" licence (88 for, 2 against and 15 abstentions), "Saouaf" (89 for, 2 against and 19 abstentions) and "El Waha" (86 for, 2 against and 21 abstentions).

The parliament also adopted (with 100 votes in favour and 28 abstentions) the law on the adoption of the agreement and its annexes, signed between Tunisia and the Italian hydrocarbon grouping "ENI", for the management of the Algerian gas pipeline crossing Tunisian territory to Italy.

Tunisia concluded two agreements with ENI in 1977 and 1991 to build and operate two gas pipelines crossing the country, which represent part of the Algerian gas export system to Italy.

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