Niger Pockets $400M Advance from China for Oil

On 12 April 2024, the Niger PM Lamine Zeine and the Chair of the China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) ZHOU Zuokun signed a sales agreement to supply oil to China. As per the contract, Niger will receive an advance of USD 400 million.

The advance can be considered as a loan guaranteed by oil. Repayments will be deducted from the proceeds of the sales of oil over an expected period of 12 months starting from May 2024. The advance carries an annual interest of 7%.

The Niger PM Zeine indicated that the money will go towards developing the security, agriculture and health sectors.

“The absolute priority is the reinforcement of the security of our territory. Thus, defence and security in particular are our number one priority.”

Niger PM Lamine Zeine

According to the contract, the Niger state holds 25.4% shares in the JV with CNPC. The oil field under joint exploitation is situated in the Agadem region and currently produces 90,000 barres per day (bpd).

In the near future, production is expected to climb to 110,00 bpd. In addition to Agadem, CNPC also exploits another bloc in Bilma since 2003.

Oil Pipeline linking Niger to Benin

The oil will be transported via a pipeline which is nearly 2,000 km long to the port of Seme in Benin. The pipe itself necessitated a massive investment of USD 6 billion, with financing coming mostly from CNPC.

It is worth noting that Niger is under economic sanctions from ECOWAS and WAEMU following the coup in July 2023. Therefore, the terms of the deal may not as favorable to Niger as could be given that it does not have much choice.