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Tunisia struggles on

A fresh energy minister and new discovery offer glimmers of light

Tunisia is hoping resolution of a dispute that had seen UK-based gas services company Petrofac threaten to quit the country, combined with a modest oil discovery by Italy's Eni, will stabilise its hydrocarbons sector. If so, it will be welcome news in the country's sagging economy, and give a platform to its new energy minister. Petrofac, which supplies 13% of Tunisia's gas, threatened in September to pull out of its plant at Chergui, in the south of the country, where it holds a 55% stake in a venture with state oil company Entreprise Tunisienne d'Activités Pétrolières (Etap), after nine months of protests by unions and environmentalists. Protestors at the plant, on the island of Kerkennah,

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