Following A Conflict With Benin, Niger Is Considering Rerouting Oil Through Chad

Following A Conflict With Benin, Niger Is Considering Rerouting Oil Through Chad

The revolution that overthrew the democratic government of Niger last year has resulted in an internal security crisis and a diplomatic spat with neighboring Benin, endangering a China-backed pipeline that would enable Niger to become an oil exporting nation.

The 1,930-kilometer (1,200-mile) pipeline connects the port of Cotonou in Benin to the Agadem oil field in Niger, which was constructed by China. With the signing of a $400 million agreement with China’s state-run national petroleum firm in April, it was intended to assist the oil-rich but landlocked Niger in increasing its oil production by nearly five times.

However, a number of obstacles have prevented it from moving forward, such as the diplomatic spat with Benin that resulted in the pipeline’s closure last week. This week, a local rebel group called the Patriotic Liberation Front also launched an attack. They claimed to have destroyed a portion of the pipeline and threatened further strikes if the $400 million deal with China was not annulled.

The Niger junta is thinking of passing through Cameroon and neighboring Chad to find a solution. When the project first began, both this and Nigeria’s options were taken into account before the elected Nigerien authorities decided to go with the pipeline to Benin.

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