The 2000km cross-border Niger-Benin crude oil pipeline project

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The construction of Africa’s longest oil pipeline, the Niger-Benin crude oil pipeline, is taking shape near Gaya in southwest Niger, close to the Benin border.

Niger-Benin crude oil pipeline factsheet

Location                Niger and Benin, West Africa

Developer              China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC)

Length                   Close to 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles)

Capacity                90,000 barrels per day (bpd)

Cost                       US$ 6bn+

Status                   Underdevelopment

The pipeline will link oil wells in the Agadem region of eastern Niger to the Beninese port of Seme, with a proposed length of about 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles), including 1,250 kilometers within the country of Niger itself.

Investments in carbon-emitting fossil fuels should be stopped, according to climate activists. However, this initiative is viewed as a lifeline for the local economy in Niger. In 2011, the landlocked nation of West Africa started producing oil. The reserves are exploited by the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), which has pipelined oil to Zinder, in south-central Niger.

The Covid-19 pandemic caused a delay in the oil pipeline project

Niger initially intended to export crude oil through the port of Kribi in Cameroon via neighboring Chad. However, it ultimately chose the “Benini Corridor,” which ends at the northernmost tip of the Gulf of Guinea. The Covid-19 pandemic has delayed the project, which began in 2019, from finishing in 2022 as planned, according to Nafiou Issaka, deputy general manager of the West African Oil Pipeline Company (WAPCO).

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According to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, more than 600 kilometers of the pipeline have already been installed. Niger is thus on schedule to begin selling crude oil on the world market in July of next year. Despite the fact that much of the region it runs through has so far been spared from Islamist militancy, more than 700 soldiers have reportedly been ordered to protect the oil pipeline project.

According to the World Nuclear Association, Niger has long been a significant producer of uranium, ranking seventh globally in 2021. With a total production of 2,248 tonnes after declining year over year for the previous ten years.

However, as uranium earnings continue to decline, the government of Niger is turning to oil to increase the national budget. The pipeline will receive an investment of $6 billion.

Kabirou Zakari, who heads the ministry’s oil refining department, said, “Since gaining independence in 1960, this is Niger’s biggest investment.”

According to Zakari, who spoke to AFP, oil production is anticipated to rise to 110,000 barrels per day from 2023. However, 90,000 barrels are expected to be exported from the 110,000 barrels. Zakari put the oil reserves in Niger at about two billion barrels. In 2026, Niger will produce 200,000 barrels per day, according to official estimates.

An overview of the Niger-Benin crude oil pipeline project

Developed by China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), the Niger-Benin pipeline project entails the construction of a total of 1,980km cross-border crude oil pipeline that will connect the Agadem Rift Basin (ARB) region in Niger to the Port Seme Terminal in Benin.

The project also comprises the construction of a total of nine intermediate stations. Upon completion, the entire pipeline, which is being constructed along with the second phase development of the Agadem oilfield, will be capable of delivering up to 90,000bpd of crude oil to the Port Seme export terminal located on the Atlantic Coast in Benin.

The pipeline project, along with the two-phased Agadem oilfield development, will have a total output of more than 5.5 million tons (Mt).


Name                     Niger-Benin crude oil pipeline

Location                Niger and Benin, West Africa

Developer              China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC)

Length                   Close to 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles)

Capacity                90,000 barrels per day (bpd)

Cost                       US$ 6bn+

Status                   Underdevelopment

Reported earlier 

May 2021

Benin launches construction of its section of the Niger-Benin crude oil project

The Beninese Ministry of Mines in partnership with the West African Oil Pipeline Benin Company (Wapco Benin) has officially launched construction works for the 684 km Benin side of the Niger-Benin pipeline project, in the town of Sèmè- Kpodji.

The construction of this section of the pipeline project will be completed in 2023 and will include a terminal station at Sèmè-Kpodji in the Ouémé Department, two pumping stations at Gogounou and Tchatchou in the Alibori and Borgou Departments respectively, as well as an export terminal on the high seas.

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This project, which will allow the West African country to become an actor in the oil sector without producing a drop of oil, the infrastructure will cross the departments of Ouémé, Plateau, Collines, Borgou, Alibori, and 17 municipalities including Sèmè-Kpodji.

The effective implementation of this project in Benin will improve the tax revenues of the country with annual transit costs of around 25 million euros.

Jun 2021

Niger-Benin crude oil project: Construction of oil loading buoy system at the port of Sèmè-Kpodji begins

Construction work is underway for an oil loading buoy system at the port of Sèmè-Kpodji which is located in the Ouémé Department of south-eastern Benin.

The works will be carried out by Bluewater Energy Services B.V., a Dutch operator in the oil and gas industry that specializes in the design, lease, ownership, and operation of Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels; and the design and supply of advanced turret mooring systems and CALM buoys.

This project is part of the ongoing Niger-Benin pipeline project, which is subject to a bilateral agreement signed by the governments of Benin and Niger in January 2019.