History of Oil and Gas Industry in Niger

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Origins

International Oil Companies (IOCs) have been active for many years in Niger. Exploration began in the 1950s with the first wells being drilled between 1962 and 1964 by the national oil company of Paraguay, Petropar, in the Djado and Tamesna-Talak areas. The results revealed oil deposits in some of the wells, and this encouraged further activity in the 1970s and 1980s, as firms such as Global Energy, Sun Oil, Conoco, Texaco, Esso and Elf became involved in exploration in the Kafra-Seguedine area, the Dosso area, the Agadem Block, the Iullemeden Basin and the Bilma area.[1]

In 1992 American major Hunt Petroleum was awarded the Djado permit on the northern tip of the Termit-Ténéré Rift Basin.[2] Following this Algeria's Sonatrach[3], Malaysian Petronas[4], Canadian TVI Pacific[5], Chinese CNPC[6] and Russian Gazprom[7] have all been active in the oil and gas industry of Niger.

From Exploration to Production

In 2007 the government of Niger invited bids for the 27,660 square kilometres Agadem Block. They reviewed bids from China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Petronas, Sonatrach, Burren Energy, South Africa Energetic, ATI Petroleum, Tullow Oil and TransAfrican Energy. Ultimately they awarded the contract to CNPC and signed an agreement in 2008 that awarded them a licence to explore and produce from the Agadem Block, on the condition that they would conduct geological research, build a refinery capable of processing 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) and construct a 2,000 kilometre pipeline.[8] This agreement marked a movement in the Nigerien oil and gas industry from exploration to production, and by November 2011 Niger had entered an 'oil era' when the CNPC-funded Soraz Oil Refinery was commissioned.[9].

References

  1. "Extraction of Crude Petroleum in Niger" Mbendi, retrieved 17 April 2012.
  2. "Niger Foreign Policy and Government Guide, Volume 1" USA International Business Publications, 1 January 2011.
  3. "Our International Operations" Sonatrach, retrieved 5 April 2012.
  4. "Petronas Strikes Oil in Niger" Petronas, retrieved 17 April 2012.
  5. "News Release: TVI Pacific Inc. Announces Commencement of Exploration Well in Niger, Africa" TVI Pacific Inc., retrieved 5 April 2012.
  6. "CNPC beats out seven companies for Niger’s Agadem Block" Information Handling Services, retrieved 4 April 2012.
  7. "Niger | Le russe Gazprombank se lance dans la recherche minière et pétrolière" Reussir, retrieved 4 April 2012.
  8. CNPC beats out seven companies for Niger’s Agadem Block" IHS - Information Handling Service, retieved 28 March 2012.
  9. "Niger enters oil era, commits to disclose revenues by 2012" Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, retrieved 16 April 2012.