Nigerien Energy Security: A 6 Month Outlook


    Niger is set to become an energy lynchpin in the African market. Chinese investment in Niger spurred a flurry of construction projects. Some have stalled while others have progressed. In the meanwhile, Niger hosts several terrorist groups which could threaten the security of future energy investments. As a developing nation with weak institutional frameworks and security architecture, Niger may prove to be an energy liability rather than an asset. 

    KJ-1: It is highly likely that the Niger-Benin Oil Pipeline will be completed in the next 6 months. 

    • The Niger-Benin pipeline will be Africa’s longest oil pipeline. It will run from the newly discovered Agadem oil field in Niger to Benin’s port of Seme [source].
    • After the government eased COVID restrictions and the global economy re-opened, CNPC redoubled construction efforts [source].
    • The pipeline is over 51% complete, with 600 km of pipeline already laid [source]. 
    • Boko Haram, Islamic State and al-Qaeda affiliated groups operate in the Niger-Benin border region, potentially threatening the physical security of the pipeline and construction crews [source].  
    • Militants attacked a customs office in Malanville near the Niger-Benin border [source]. 
    • Accordingly, nearly 700 soldiers are on permanent deployment near and around the pipeline construction area [source].  
    • Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum announced plans to establish a purpose-built battalion which will patrol the Niger-Benin border [source]. 
    • The governments of Benin and Niger signed a cooperation agreement for counterterrorism operations and intelligence sharing [source].  
    • The city of Dosso itself hosts 500 heavily armed and French-trained troops grouped into a rapid response battalion [source].  

    KJ-2: It is highly likely that Chinese energy investment in Niger will accelerate in the next 6 months.

    • The Niger-Benin oil pipeline is funded by the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) [source].
    • According to the Nigerien Oil Ministry, the total value of the investment in the Niger-Benin pipeline stands at  $6 billion, the largest such investment in Niger’s history [source].  
    • CNPC uses pre-existing pipelines to transport crude to Zinder. CNPC fully owns the Agadem oil fields[source]. The pipelines in turn feed the Soraz refinery, a jointly owned venture between Niger and China [source].
    • President Bazoum chastised western nations for complaining about the close relationship between China and Niger [source].
    • China is Niger’s most important source of foreign direct investment, with the two countries have signed bilateral trade agreements and maintaining a trade commission [source].
    • China provides the second largest financial consideration for Niger’s uranium mining industry [source]. 
    • Niger the main African purchaser of Chinese commodities [source]. 

    KJ-3: It is likely that Nigerien uranium industry will rebound in the next 6 months. 

    • Production levels consistently fell over the last 10 years, despite Niger’s traditional role as a major uranium producer, [source]. 
    • Global Atomic, a Canadian uranium mining firm, signed a deal with a US company to sponsor the development of a uranium mine in Niger [source]. 
    • The US Senate introduced a legislative package which would authorize $3.5 billion for nuclear fuel development such as the Global Atomic contract in order to facilitate the production of non-Chinese or Russian nuclear fuels [source]. 
    • Another Canadian mining company, GoviEx, will move ahead with the $343 million Madaouela uranium mining project, set to produce over 50 million lbs of triuranium octoxide over the next 19 years [source]. 
    • Myriad Metals, also Canadian, signed an option agreement in August with Loxcroft Resources for the Tim Mersoi Basin [source]. 
    • That same month, the government of Niger increased its stake in the Dasa uranium mining project with Global Atomic to 20% [source].
    • Although most of these projects will fully materialize in over a year’s time, the government is capitalizing on the sanctions regime with Russia to boost nuclear fuel production and exploration [source]. 
    • Global Atomic has already broken ground in Dasa and entered into a deal with Orano to ship raw uranium ore to Orano’s Somaïr mine in Arlit [source].

    A hybrid power plant consisting of diesel and solar panels is under construction for the Dasa mining operation [source].

    Intelligence Cut-Off Date 27 October 2022

    Alec Smith
    Alec Smith
    Alec Smith is a graduate of the MSC International Relations program of the University of Aberdeen and holds an LLB in Global Law from Tilburg University. He works in the private sector in field investigations and security.

    Table of contents


    Get the weekly email from Grey Dynamics that makes reading intel articles and reports actually enjoyable. Join our mailing list to stay in the loop for free!

    Related contents

    Learn to create professional videos and have fun in the process of creating videos.
    Video Review And Collaboration.
    Get Started
    Subscribe to our Free Newsletter!