Overview of Oil and Gas Infrastructure in Niger
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The infrastructural developments within the Nigerien oil and gas industry have been part of a wider US$5 billion joint venture between the Nigerien government and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). CNPC have developed the Agadem Oilfield, which utilises surface engineering infrastructure to extract crude oil and liquefied petroleum gas from the hydrocarbon reserves within the Agadem Block. To link their extraction facilities at the Agadem Oilfield with the Soraz Oil Refinery, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) have also developed the Agadem-Soraz Pipeline. The final part of the joint venture is the Soraz Oil Refinery, which contains the infrastructure necessary to refine up to 20,000 barrels per day of petroleum products.
As of March 2012 uncertainty exists over Niger's export capacity after Reuters reported that in early 2012 Niger faced problems exporting their refined crude products from the SORAZ refinery due to lack of storage facilities and regulations on the sale and export of the products. Officials said that the refinery had been forced to shut down multiple times since it was commissioned in November 2011. A spokesman from SONIDEP, the organisation in charge of marketing and exporting Niger's oil, said "Export is already a new activity for us, and this requires us to adapt to the environment, and therefore regulations around it", adding that government were still in the process of drafting the regulations needed to be able carry out exports.
In an attempt to address Niger's export infrastructure problems the Nigerien Foreign Minister, Mohamed Bazoum, and Oil Minister, Foumakoye Gado, reached an agreement with Chad in February 2012 to begin discussing the possibility of shipping Niger's crude oil from its Agadem Oilfield for export through the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline. The Minister suggested that he hoped to construct a pipeline that would connect into the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline (approximately 1000 kilometers away), taking Niger's oil to the port of Kribi in Cameroon .
- "Niger sees 2012 oil revenues at US$164 million" Defence Web, retrieved 3 April 2012.
- "Sino-Niger intergrated Agadem completed and becomes operational" CNPC, retrieved 2 April 2012.
- "Niger refinery faces stocking, export problems" Reuters Africa, retrieved 13 April 2012.
- "Niger to ship crude through Chad-Cameroon Pipeline" Reuters Africa, retrieved 3 April 2012.