"Tunisia is mulling over producing shale gas to meet its growing domestic demand and the expected drop in traditional oil stock," the Industry Ministry asserts.
In a communiqué made public on Saturday in response to information circulated about Government's plans to grant Shell Company a non-conventional hydrocarbons exploration permit in the Kairouan region, Tunisian midlands, the Ministry denies "that any shale gas exploration permit has been granted."
The press release also reads that "the consultative commission on hydrocarbons examined an application presented by Shell company to carry out prospection works of traditional hydrocarbons (oil and gas) and non-conventional ones (shale gas)."
"The commission recommended to finish off examination of the file and offer all guarantees for the preservation of environment and water resources," the same source specifies.
The Ministry, which does not reject the possible recourse to this technique, pointed out that "this file will be treated by drawing on other countries' experiences in this field and taking into account the environmental aspect."
"Shale gas exploitation techniques have been successful in several countries as the United States and Canada, where experts say that 'its utilisation does not pose a danger."
Shale gas is a natural gas produced through the decomposition of clay which is rich in organic materials and extracted from clayey-marly soils.