HomeInternationalNiger awards nine oil production sharing contracts

Niger awards nine oil production sharing contracts

Niger began producing
oil and refining it
last month at this
plant 900 km east
of the capital
Niamey, Niger — 17 July 2012 – The government of the West African state of Niger has awarded nine production-sharing agreements to five oil companies as one of Africa’s newest oil producers seeks to diversify its foreign partners.

Reuters reports that China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is Niger’s dominant international partner and helped the country begin pumping oil last November as part of a US$5 billion deal to develop the Agadem block in the east of the country. State-owned CNPC is also looking for oil in the northern block of Bilma and co-owns the 20,000 barrel per day Soraz refinery with the government.

“The adoption of these decrees has been reached in the new climate favourable to investment in Niger, and is in line with the policy of diversifying oil partners,” according to a government statement on public television.

Among the five companies awarded contracts were three from neighbouring Nigeria: Labana Petroleum with two blocks (Dibella 1, Dallol); Sirius Energy with one bloc (Grein); and Advantica Gas and Energy with one bloc (Mandaram 2), a local newspaper reports.

Australian-listed International Petroleum Limited was awarded four blocks (Manga 1, Manga 2, Aborak and West Tenere); and Bermuda-based Genmin was awarded one bloc (Djado 1), the newspaper report adds. Details were confirmed by a source familiar with the contracts, but it was not clear how many firms bid for the contracts.

Niger, one of the world’s poorest countries, is expected to begin operating reserves on four fields at its Agadem bloc by early 2014, increasing its production to 80,000 bpd.

The government forecasts that its petroleum sector will provide the country with US$164 million in revenue this year and eliminate the need for costly fuel imports.

Around 60,000 bpd will be exported via a pipeline linking the landlocked country to the Chad-Cameroon pipeline, allowing it to export its crude onto the international spot market from a terminal in the Gulf of Guinea.

Source: Reuters Africa. For more information, click here.