NIAMEY Aug 3 Niger has discovered more oil in
its eastern Agadem oil fields and the outlook in the northern
Bilma block is positive, the president said late on Thursday,
without giving any further details.
Agadem is drilled by the China National Petroluem
Corporation (CNPC) which also works Bima in
partnership with Canadain TVI Pacific's TG World.
Niger, a major uranium miner but one of Africa's poorest
nations, joined the continent's club of oil-producing countries
when it started pumping oil last year from Agadem in a joint
project with CNPC.
Reserves at Agadem, 1,600 km (1,000 miles) east of Niamey,
have until now been estimated at 650 million barrels.
"I would like to take advantage of this occaison to inform
you that new discoveries have been made, allowing us to increase
the oil reserves at Agadem and the outlook for Bilma is very
good," President Mahamadou Issoufou said in an independence day
speech to the nation on state television.
Oil from Agadem feeds a 20,000 barrel per day refinery in
Zinder, 700 km to the west. But Niger is in talks with Chad and
Cameroon to export its crude oil out through the two fellow
oil-producing nations in Central Africa.
Last month it awarder nine production sharing agreements to
five oil firms as it seeks to expand its partners.
"So, Niger has a bright future when it comes to oil,"