CNPC expanding in Niger

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.