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Landlocked African state to launch oil exports – Reuters

Niger will reportedly supply crude to a port in neighboring Benin using a Chinese-built pipeline

Niger plans to start supplying the international market with crude oil next month, Reuters has reported, citing the country’s military government.

The crude from the landlocked African country is being transported to a port in neighboring Benin via a new pipeline, Niger’s military leader Abdourahamane Tchiani said on state television on Sunday.

Storage tanks in the port of Cotonou should be filled by January, when the commercialization phase will start, he told Niger’s RTS channel, according to Reuters.

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The Niger-Benin crude pipeline that was launched in November is operated by China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). The 1,980km conduit will enable Niger, one of the poorest countries in the world, to sell its crude oil internationally for the first time.

Niger will export 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) via the pipeline, and it will get 25.4% of the revenue, Tchiani said. The country is reportedly producing 110,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

The West African nation currently operates an oil refinery with a capacity of 20,000 bpd, mainly serving the domestic fuel market, with some produce exported by road to neighboring Nigeria.

However, the country’s military government plans to refine more oil locally and reduce its dependence on imported fuel.

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Tchiani announced plans to build a second refinery “with the support of external partners,” without giving any further details, according to Africa News.

“Our desire is not to market crude oil. We want to move towards a refinery which will process Nigerien crude on Nigerien soil,” Reuters quoted Tchiani as saying. Niger has not benefited enough from its natural resources, he added.

Niger’s oil sector is being developed by energy companies from China, Taiwan and Algeria. London-listed Savannah Energy is the only Western oil company operating in the country.

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Niger has been under military rule since President Mohamed Bazoum was ousted in July. The coup prompted sweeping sanctions by the EU and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a regional economic partnership. Niger’s military government has since taken a number of steps to sever ties with France, its former colonial leader, and accused the European country of interfering in its internal affairs.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

December 13, 2023 at 08:16PM
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