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

The first extends along the eastern Tunisian coast with a smaller part onshore and the remainder off the coast, extending from the shores of Bizerte and the Gulf of Tunis, to the city of Misrata.

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

According to preliminary estimates, Libyan oil and gas reserves could double as a result of the discovery, while Tunisia could become a major energy producer in North Africa.