* Government says new permit covers 1 bln barrels
* Oil exports planned via Chad and Cameroon
NIAMEY Nov 16 The government of Niger has
awarded China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) a second
operating permit in the Agadem block and plans to export the oil
via Chad and Cameroon, state television reported.
Niger, a poor landlocked country with uranium deposits,
began pumping oil in 2011 but output has so far mostly been used
for a domestic refinery co-owned by CNPC and the government.
CNPC is already pumping oil in the Agadem block, located in
the semi-arid eastern region of Diffa, bordering Chad.
"This second phase (of CNPC's development of the Agadem
block) involves 59 oil wells with an expected 1 billion barrels
of oil. The oil will be exported through the route from Niger to
Chad to Cameroon," said Marou Amadou, spokesman for the
government on Friday.
He added that the new development would allow the country to
export between 60,000-80,000 barrels per day, without specifying
how quickly exports could rise.
The government announcement suggests reserves in the Agadem
block could be much bigger than previous estimates of 650
million barrels. CNPC is also looking for oil in the northern
Bilma block in partnership with Canadian TVI Pacific's TG World.
Niger signed an agreement with Cameroon in September to
export its oil via a new link to the existing Cameroon-Chad
pipeline which transports oil to the Atlantic port of Kribi.
Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou is also planning a
study for a pipeline via southern neighbour Benin, Amadou said.
Niamey has called for further contributions from investors
to the country's infrastructure and its decision to award a
further permit to CNPC follows an announcement that the Chinese
firm would invest 100 billion CFA francs to construct roads in