Chinese state-owned oil giant CNPC has been awarded a second exploitation license for the Agadem field in Niger, not a month after announcing they plan to invest $200m in road infrastructure linking Niger and Chad (Jeune Afrique, Le Blog Finance), perhaps as a response to a more assertive attitude towards foreign investors in Niger (investment in roads has been demanded from Areva, whose license to mine for uranium in Niger is about to expire). CNPC’s activities in the region have been facing increased scrutiny: last August, CNPCIC, their subsidiary in Chad, was ordered to suspend its operations for more than a month after being found to be in breach of environmental regulations.
Posted on Tumblr on Sep 29.
The discovery was made under 550m of water in the Haute Mer A area, operated and 45% owned by CNOOC in partnership with Congo’s state-owned SNPC, Taiwan’s CPC and Jean-Claude Gandur’s Oryx Petroleum. (Meanwhile Addax Petroleum, sold by Mr Gandur to Sinopec in 2009, has just lost a ruling amid its $1bn legal battle over a Gabon license.) CNOOC’s permit to explore in Haute Mer A was approved at the end of 2008.