According to Niger's Foreign Minister, the country has reached an agreement with Chad to ship crude oil from its Agadem field for export through the Chad-Cameroon pipeline.
Mohamed Bazoum recently told Niger's national television that the agreement was reached after he and Oil Minister Foumakoye Gado had met with Chad’s President Idriss Deby.
"We asked the Chadian president's permission to consider the project to export oil through a pipeline that would connect us to the Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline to the port of Kribi (in Cameroon). President Idriss Deby has just given a positive response," Bazoum said.
Although, the minister did not confirm the project’s start date, he added that both governments plan to set up a team to negotiate technical and environmental details of the project as soon as possible.
Last November, Niger became one of Africa's newest oil producers with the inauguration of its Soraz refinery, a US$ 5 billion joint venture with China National Petroleum Corporation, near Zinder, some 900 km (560 miles) east of the capital Niamey.
CNPC owns 60% and Niger the remaining 40% of the 20 000 bpd capacity refinery, which is fed entirely by oil from the newly launched Agadem oilfield a further 700 km east.
About 7000 bpd is intended for local use, while the rest will be exported through the pipeline.
Niger, one of the world's poorest nations struggling with perennial food shortages, initially put its oil reserves from Agadem at 268 million bbls but following new tests, the estimate has risen to 480 million bbls.
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