NIAMEY, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Niger intends to start exporting crude oil to international markets from 2016, President Mahamadou Issoufou said in a state broadcast late on Tuesday.
“The government has been instructed to accelerate the construction of the pipeline to export crude oil from 2016,” he said, without giving further details.
Niger has previously expressed interest in exporting oil via a pipeline linking its neighbor Chad to the Atlantic Ocean via Cameroon but had not given a timeframe.
Poor, landlocked and uranium-rich Niger became an oil producer in 2011 when it began pumping around 20,000 barrels per day from the Agadem field in the country’s east.
Output has so far been used for the local Soraz refinery co-owned by the government and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).
Last month, CNPC was awarded a second operating permit in Agadem, which the government says contains 1 billion barrels of oil.