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CNPC in Niger

CNPC embarked upon oil and gas business in Niger in 2003. It now operates two exploration and development projects, and a joint venture refinery in the country, while also providing oilfield services.
  • Oil and Gas Operations
  • Oilfield Services, Engineering and Construction
  • Local Development
  • Major Events

Block Bilma and Block Tenere

CNPC is the owner as well as the operator of two exploration and development blocks in Niger-Block Bilma and Block Tenere. On November 23, 2003, CNPC signed an agreement with the Nigerien government on the exploration and development license for Block Bilma and Block Tenere. CNPC owns a 100% holding in Block Bilma and an 80% holding in Block Tenere, while TG World of Canada owns the remaining 20%.

Block Bilma and Block Tenere are located in the hinterland of the Sahara Desert, covering an area of 60,884 square kilometers and 71,155 square kilometers respectively. 2D seismic data acquisition and integrated studies in Block Tenere were commenced in 2005. On October 30, 2006, Saha-1, the first exploration well in this block, was spudded and favorable source rocks have been observed during drilling. In 2012, our progressive exploration in Bilma block resulted in new discoveries.

Agadem Upstream and Downstream Integrated Project

In June 2008, CNPC and Niger signed integrated upstream and downstream deals in Agadem block, involving oilfield exploration and development, construction and operation of a long-distance pipeline and a joint venture refinery. Under the contract, within three years CNPC will complete the first phase of construction and bring the oilfield, pipeline, and refinery into operation.

In 2009, the Agadem integrated upstream-downstream project made substantial progress in upstream exploration. In 2010, high-yield flow was obtained from three exploration wells under formation test in the Dibeilla area, located east of Agadem.

On November 28, 2011, Phase-I of Agadem upstream and downstream integrated project was completed and became operational. It includes a 1Mt/a oilfield, the 1Mt/a Zinder Refinery, and a 462.5km-long oil pipeline connecting them to each other. The refinery produces gasoline, diesel, fuel oil, and LPG, which is first supplied to the domestic market of Niger and then exported to surrounding countries. In 2013, we made significant discoveries from risk exploration in the Fana-Koulele reservoir in the Agadem Block.

Zinder refinery

The JV refinery between CNPC and Niger Government is located at the southern city of Zinder, with a designed crude processing capacity of 1Mt/a. In October 2008, foundations were laid for the Zinder refinery. On November 28, 2011, Zinder Refinery became operational, marking the completion of the Phase-I Agadem upstream and downstream integrated project.

2012 witnessed the first full year of the operation of our upstream-downstream integrated projects in Niger, which achieved excellent performance in oilfield production, pipeline operation, and crude refining. Zinder Refinery smoothly fulfilled its operating objectives, and produced diesel, gasoline, and LPG products meeting local market demand. In 2014, Zinder Refinery was overhauled and fulfilled the annual production target. In 2015, the refinery achieved safe, steady and efficient operation.

In 2016, Zinder Refinery made significant progress in negotiations with Sonidep on sales and pricing of oil products and signed a new sales agreement.

CNPC provides a range of oilfield services in Niger, such as geophysical prospecting, well drilling and logging. In 2007, we had one seismic crew, one drilling crew and six logging and testing crews operating in Niger.

In October 2008, the 3D seismic acquisition project (Phase I) in Agadem block commenced. Covering 261 square kilometers, the project proceeds smoothly.

In 2009, the phase-Ⅰ 1Mt/a surface project, Zinder refinery and oil pipeline project all started construction. The oil pipeline was 462.50 kilometers, with designed annual capacity of 1 million metric tons. In 2010, most of the welding work was completed along the oil pipeline.


CNPC started oil and gas investment in Niger in 2003. In 2011, the Agadem upstream-downstream integrated project was completed and put into operation, marking the success achieved by CNPC and Niger in cooperating in the full industry chain. This mode of cooperation has effectively boosted local socioeconomic development and achieved mutual benefits and win-win results.

Promoting industrial development

The project has put in place a complete oil industry integrating the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors in Niger, and promoted the rapid development of transportation, communication and other industries. Specifically, the demand for the construction of on-site communications facilities has stimulated the rapid development of the local communications industry, and made modern communications service available to local residents. Thus, the oil industry has become a pillar of Niger's national economy and an important engine of its social development.

Creating jobs

We have directly created a total of more than 7,000 jobs, provided more than 3,000 local employees with training on medium and long-term work skills, and assigned nearly 200 outstanding local employees to China and other countries for professional training.

Serving community building

We actively contributed to local economic development and supported community building. We helped build roads for oil transportation and improve the national road network. To meet the water needs of local residents, we drilled 29 wells and set up more than 40 water supply points in the villages near the oilfield and pipelines. We funded the construction of clinics and assigned physicians to provide free medical treatment for local residents. We supported local cultural development, providing funds for the celebration of the Women's Day, Children's Carnival, and Wrestling Festival, and sponsored local governments and public organizations including the Ministry of Water Resources, the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture, Mariama University, National Museum of Niger, and the Islamic Association. In support of education, we joined forces with service companies and partners to donate to the construction of 38 schools, and provide desks and school supplies to students in Agadez, Diffa, Zinderand Njimi. In the wake of floods and wars, we helped post-disaster reconstruction through donating money, food and medicine to the disaster-stricken areas.

Fighting Malaria

In 2012, the Niger Delta was hit by the worst floods in decades. Zinder, where our project is located, Diffa, where supplies from the oilfield are transferred, and Niamey, the capital of Niger all suffered from the frequent occurrence of malaria. We actively participated in the malaria control and prevention to ensure health of local employees and residents.

We established and launched an emergency response system and a resource allocation mechanism, held weekly meetings to share information on disease evolution and worked out countermeasures. We restructured 10 containers and provided to adjacent villages for classroom use. We also donated USD 125,000 worth medicine and food. With the common efforts of all concerned sectors, the malaria was eventually under control. Our contribution to fighting malaria was highly praised by Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou and Prime Minister Brigi Rafini.

In 2013, the incidence of malaria among our employees declined substantially as we provided training on the prevention and treatment of malaria and other tropical diseases, and prepared test kits and anti-malaria drugs in advance.

Mar. 27, 2013 CNPC and Taiwan CPC signed a joint exploration agreement on the Agadem Block in Niger and a long-term supply deal for low-sulfur crude from Oman and West Africa. The two sides also signed a confirmation note on the equity transfer of the Agadem Block on August 29, 2013.

Nov. 28, 2011 Zinder Refinery became operational, marking the completion of the Phase-I Agadem upstream and downstream integrated project.

Oct. 27, 2008 The foundations are laid at the Zinder refinery, jointly invested by CNPC and Nigerien government. The refinery is designed to process one million tons of crude oil annually.

Jun. 02, 2008 CNPC and Niger signed integrated upstream and downstream deals in Agadem block, involving oilfield exploration and development, construction and operation of a long-distance pipeline and a joint venture refinery.