Savannah Petroleum PLC, the British independent oil & gas company focused around activities in Niger and Nigeria, is pleased to note the signature on 15 September 2019 of a Transportation Convention between China National Petroleum Corporation ("CNPC") and the Republic of Niger in relation to the planned crude oil export pipeline from the Agadem Rift Basin ("ARB") to the Atlantic coast in Benin (the "Niger-Benin Export Pipeline" or the "Pipeline"). The Pipeline is expected to run for c.2,000km from the ARB in Niger to Port Seme on the Atlantic coast in Benin, and is CNPC's largest ever cross-border crude oil pipeline investment.
The Transportation Convention sets out the contractual terms between CNPC and the Republic of Niger under which the Pipeline will be constructed and operated and was signed by Niger's Minister of Petroleum, His Excellency Mr. Foumakoye Gado and the President of CNPC Exploration and Development Company (CNPC's overseas development arm, "CNODC") Mr. Wang Zhong Cai. Savannah and various other project stakeholders and dignitaries were also in attendance at the signature ceremony. Mr. Wang Zhong Cai confirmed that Pipeline construction is expected to be complete by the end of 2021.
Following the signature of the Transportation Convention, His Excellency President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger is expected to officially launch the surface infrastructure works for the Niger-Benin Export Pipeline at a ceremony in Koulele, Agadem on 17 September 2019. The Transportation Convention follows the signature in August 2019 of the Niger-Benin Pipeline Construction and Operation Agreement between CNPC and the Republic of Benin, as well as the upstream approval granted by the Republic of Niger to CNPC in June 2018 in relation to the Agadem Production Sharing Contract ("PSC") Exclusive Exploitation Area 3, the production from which is expected to be exported from Niger using the Pipeline. Under the terms of Savannah's R1/R2 and R3/R4 PSCs, the Petroleum Code of Niger and its Implementing Decree, Savannah is entitled to access such third-party infrastructure.
Andrew Knott, CEO of Savannah Petroleum, said:
"The Niger-Benin Export Pipeline is expected to transform Niger into a major regional oil producer and deliver a material increase in the country's economic growth rate. From a Savannah perspective, it provides our Company with a significant additional potential route to market, alongside the existing Zinder refinery, for our existing and future discoveries in Niger.
As a Company we would like to congratulate Niger's Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, CNPC and all of the stakeholders who have worked to deliver this key project and we look forward to the planned 2021 first oil export date with great anticipation."
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