Tunisia, eager to attract more foreign investors into its energy sector, has awarded an oil and gas exploration permit to Australia's Cooper Energy, state news agency TAP said.
Cooper Energy will invest $8.4 million in the exploration operation, under a joint deal with Tunisian state-owned Societe Tunisienne des Activites Petrolieres (ETAP), it said.
The five-year accord covers a total area of 4,476 square kilometers (2,797 square miles) in coastal Hammamet region, southeast of Tunis.
The government plans to drill 15 new wells per year between 2007 and 2011, up from an average of eight wells over the past five years. (Reuters)