Construction Commences on US$7bn Niger-Benin Cross-Border Crude Oil Pipeline

Construction works have commenced on the 1,950 kilometres crude oil pipeline connecting the Agadem Rift Basin (ARB) region in Niger Republic to Port Seme Terminal in Benin Republic.

By Diana Wachira on
16th November 2021

China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is the developer and operator of the Niger-Benin crude oil pipeline. 

The pipeline will transport crude oil from the Agadem oil fields in Niger Republic, through southwest of Niamey, Niger, and end at the Republic of Benin's Port Seme terminal located on the Atlantic coast.

CNPC received upstream approval for the project from the Republic of Niger in June 2018 and subsequently signed the construction and operation agreement with the Government of Benin in August 2019. 

The pipeline will have a 1,275 kilometers section running through Niger Republic and a 675 kilometers section running through through the Republic of Benin.

The 1,950 kilometers and 20-inch-diameter pipeline is expected to transmit the first shipment of crude oil from Agadem Basin in Niger Republic to Benin Republic's Port Seme export terminal in 2022, after its completion.

The pipeline project, which is being constructed along with the second phase development of the Agadem oilfield development, involves the construction of a new pipeline and associated facilities. It will feature a single point mooring system, which is expected to export 4.5Mtpa of crude oil.

The overall scope of the Niger-Benin pipeline project of the pipeline project includes the construction of nine intermediate stations before terminating at the Port of Seme. On completion, the pipeline will be capable of delivering up to 90,000 barrels per day of crude oil to the Port of Seme export terminal located on the Atlantic Coast in Benin Republic.

The scope of work on the Benin Republic side of the project will include the construction of a terminal station at Sèmè-Kpodji in the Ouémé Department, two pumping stations at Gogounou and Tchatchou in the Alibori and Borgou Departments, respectively. It will also include the construction of an export terminal on the high seas. 

Construction of the pipeline is expected to generate additional traffic to the Port of Cotonou in Benin. The port is expected to process up to 300,000 tonnes of goods, once the pipeline becomes operational.

Cargo Handling in Port of Cotonou (SteKrueBe | Wikimedia Commons)
Cargo Handling in Port of Cotonou (SteKrueBe | Wikimedia Commons)

A joint venture led by CNPC is developing the Agadem basin, in which CNPC made 110 discoveries from 137 exploration wells. The Agadem Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) area is being developed in two phases, with the first phase development located adjacent to Savannah permit areas.

Oil production from the first phase of the Agadem basin development began in November 2011. The oil is transported to CNPC’s Zinder oil refining facility in southern Niger. The refinery currently produces petrol, diesel, and LPG products for domestic consumption.

The Agadem oil field is connected to the refinery at Zinder through an approximately 13-inch diameter and 462.5 kilometer long existing pipeline. The existing pipeline connection to the Zinder refinery comprises seven stations, which include three heating stations, three clean-up stations, and a terminating station.

Since 2012, the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has been trying to build a pipeline that links oil fields in Niger Republic to the coast from where the oil can be exported. The initial plan was to build a Niger-Chad oil pipeline that would have connected with the Chad-Cameroon Oil Pipeline in Chad. However, this plan was abandoned because of an apparent “poor experience” with the Chadian authorities. 

Top Photo: Stock Image - Construction of a large pipeline [Reinhardt | Dreamstime]

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