The Benin government has given approval to China National Oil & Gas Exploration & Development Company (CNODC) to proceed with the portion of the Niger-Benin Pipeline proposed to evacuate crude exports from Niger’s Agadem basin to Port Seme on the Atlantic coast.

The 1800-kilometre oil pipeline infrastructure will take more than two years to be completed.

The headed for ratification in Benin’s Parliament, Upstream reported yesterday that the decision by the Benin Council of Ministers to approve “Structuring investments” follows a bilateral agreement reached on 23 January between Benin and Niger.

The agreement was for the construction and operation of the pipeline, the journal quoted a government statement.

The next stage will require agreement between China National Oil & Gas Exploration & Development Company and the dedicated Cotonou-registered West African Oil Pipeline Benin Company to build, operate and maintain the pipeline that must be integrated into the Niger section.

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