Diplomatic dispute puts Niger-Benin pipeline oil exports at risk

Benin has blocked the Chinese contracting company's upcoming loading of Nigerien oil

Benin has blocked the Chinese contracting company’s upcoming loading of Nigerien oil.

The Chinese National Petroleum Corporation(CNPC) built a 1,200-mile pipeline to move oil from Niger to Benin and was expected to start shipping 90,000 barrels per day this month.

Benin was one of the first countries to plead for the lifting of sanctions against countries subject to coups d’état, including Niger. Benin immediately implemented measures to lift sanctions and opened the borders, but the Nigerien authorities have not followed suit.

President Talon of Benin approved the formalities for implementing the pipeline that takes Nigerien oil to Benin to be loaded on the Sèmè-Kpodji platform, where boats will dock to load.

According to a statement by President Talon, the reason for blocking Nigerien oil is the informal nature of the trade, which involves illicit trafficking and informal exchanges.

Talon also notes that Niger still hasn’t provided a reason for keeping its borders closed to Benin.

ECOWAS lifted the sanctions on Niger on the 25th of February, just a month after Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali( Alliance of Sahel States) announced their withdrawal from the regional bloc. Niger kept its borders closed to Benin, which had some consequences for the country.

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