Niger: Oil production despite tensions with Benin
Northeastern Saudi Arabia near Iraqi border, 1985

Niger: Oil production despite tensions with Benin

On June 22, Société nigérienne du pétrole (SONIDEP) began exploration and production in the east of the country, although the pipeline to Benin remains closed in Niamey.

The initiative was launched by Niger’s Prime Minister, Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, at a ceremony in Haïdara, in the Diffa region.

Despite this effort, Niger faces a dispute with Benin, blocking the crucial pipeline carrying crude oil from Agadem to the port of Sèmè-Kpodji.

Since 2011, Niger has been refining around 20,000 barrels a day of diesel and gasoline, mainly in Zinder, in the east-central part of the country.

This situation has compromised Niger’s oil exports since the military coup of July 2023, heightening diplomatic tensions with Benin.

Recent contracts concern an oil block in Bilma (north-east, Agadez region) and three others in Agadem (east, Diffa region), where China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has been operating oil wells since 2011.

Although the Agadem blocks are small, their potential could be significant, while the proven reserves of the Bilma blocks could allow them to be developed for exploitation.

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