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As Benin Lifts Embargo, Niger regains control of its oil

As Benin Lifts Embargo, Niger regains control of its oil

Benin lifted the embargo one-sided, and on May 19, 2024, the first ship left Benin waters, carrying one million barrels of Nigerian crude oil on board. This cargo marks the end of a blockade imposed by Benin, which suspended Nigerien oil exports in early May due to a border dispute. Benin lifted the embargo “exceptionally”, stressing that the resumption of exports could be suspended again in the event of a lack of cooperation from Niger. Benin – Niger relations have deteriorated since the military takeover in Niger. Following a border dispute, Niger closed its border to Benin. In response, Benin prevented Niger from using its port to export its crude oil via a Chinese-built pipeline, which connects Koulele in Niger’s oil fields to the Beninese port of Sèmè Kpodji.


Benin President Patrice Talon’s government demanded Niger to reopen its side of the border in order to reach Benin’s ports. Niger’s position is crucial for Benin as most of the landlocked Niger’s imports and exports passed through Benin before the coup, and Niger’s refusal to open the border hit the economy of Benin. Niger trades via Togo. For Niger, Benin’s decision allows it to regain control of its oil resources and revive its economy, while Niger will keep the border closed for Benin. Nigerien crude oil is marketed by the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). According to some analysts, Benin would gain about $7m daily from oil transit fees that Niger would have paid. Niger produces 20,000 barrels per day of crude from its Agadem Rift Basin, but that is set to rise to 110,000 barrels per day.

FNSS