The recent find extends through vast territories of Libya and Tunisia © Getty Images / Walter Bibikow

The US Geological Survey (USGS) has announced the discovery of two large oil and gas basins which span vast areas stretching between Libya and Tunisia.

The first giant deposit extends along the eastern Tunisian coast with a smaller part located on-shore and the rest embedded off the coast. It runs from the shores of the city of Bizerte and the Gulf of Tunis, through to the city of Misrata.

Another field was discovered in Libya’s Gulf of Sidra off the coast of Sirte, according to the USGS report.

In its first assessment, the US government agency said that the findings in the African countries contain a total of 4 trillion barrels of oil and 385 billion cubic feet of natural gas, which is the equivalent of 1.47 trillion barrels of liquefied natural gas.

According to preliminary estimates, Libya’s oil and gas reserves could double as a result of the discovery, while Tunisia could become a major North African energy producer.

In 2021, Libya was the seventh-largest OPEC crude oil producer and the third-largest in Africa, after Nigeria and Algeria, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Libya holds 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves and 39% of Africa’s proven reserves.

Meanwhile, the EIA estimates Tunisia’s formations hold 23 trillion cubic feet of proven shale gas reserves and 1.5 billion barrels of technically recoverable shale oil resources.

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