February 29, 2012
Niger Negotiates To Ship Crude Through Chad-Cameroon Pipe -Report
DOUALA, Cameroon -(Dow Jones)- The West African nation of Niger has officially asked Cameroon and Chad to export its crude oil through the Chad-Cameroon pipeline, state-run Cameroon Radio Television reported Wednesday.
The radio said Niger's Foreign Minister Mohamed Bazou made the request during a visit to Cameroon.
"Niger wants to export its crude oil through the Chad-Cameroon pipeline and is seeking the accord of Cameroon and Chad," CRTV reported.
Cameroon's President Paul Biya, who is expected to give the accord, is on a private visit to Europe, but government sources close to the dossier told Dow Jones Newswires that Minister Bazou held talks with Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno earlier this week.
Since its operations began in October 2003, the pipeline has been shipping crude produced in Chad by U.S. oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), Chevron Corp. (CVX) and Malaysia's Petroliam Nasional Bhd, known as Petronas.
The 1,080-kilometer pipeline runs from southern Chad's oil fields of Doba and terminates at Cameroon's Atlantic coastal town of Kribi.
Chad exported a total of 417,07 million barrels of crude oil between October 2003 and December 2011, according to Cameroon government data.
Niger's request to ship its crude through the pipeline follows that of China National Petroleum Corp., which has also advanced into talks and could start shipping its oil by the end of this year.
CNPC had been conducting oil and gas exploration for seven-expectant oil wells in Chad since 2003.
Canada's Griffiths Energy International Inc. is in also talks with Cameroon authorities to ship crude through the same pipeline. Griffiths Energy won three permits in 2011 to explore and develop oil in southern Chad.
Potential alternative routes for Chadian and Niger crude include north to Libya, or south to Republic of Congo through Central African Republic, although no infrastructure exists on either of these routes.
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