A delegation from Nigerien parastatal corporation, SONIDEP, will attend and participate in the African Energy Week, taking place on 18 – 21 October 2022 in Cape Town. SONIDEP is responsible for the transportation, storage, refining, and marketing of petroleum products in Niger and will be an important participant in downstream dialogue at the event. With the Niger government focusing on maximizing the exploitation and commercialization of its estimated 24 billion cubic feet of gas and 3.7 billion barrels of oil reserves, SONIDEP seeks to leverage regional cooperation to optimize the marketing of the country’s hydrocarbon resources. In July 2021, SONIDEP entered into a partnership with Algerian petroleum retailer NAFTAL Spa, whereby the two organizations committed to cooperating on the marketing and distribution of petroleum products. The cooperation will also focus on optimizing the maintenance of oil depots and workforce training and will play a huge role in enhancing the monetization of Niger’s hydrocarbon sector and in increasing energy exports.
Additionally, with oil and gas projected to play an increasingly important role in Niger’s economy by accounting for 24% of GDP, 45% of tax revenues, and 68% of exports, ensuring revenues generated from hydrocarbons are not vulnerable to illicit trading and pipeline theft is a priority for SONIDEP. In this regard, SONIDEP is seeking to implement a chemical fuel marking technology to track taxed fuel intended for local consumption, and in the process address hydrocarbon fraud and protect the environment from unsustainable and illegal energy production. Addressing illicit oil and gas trading will reduce revenue losses for the government while boosting investor confidence in the market, resulting in increased participation of international players, market expansion, optimal energy commercialization, and utilization to address energy poverty.
With the Niger government targeting the oil sector to account for 12% of formal jobs by 2025, SONIDEP is also supervising the application of the Declaration of General Policy of the Government (DPG), introduced in 2021, within the oil sector. SONIDEP’s focus areas in this regard include the creation of local jobs and industries by increasing the participation of the private sector to boost local content. Through the DPG, SONIDEP has also been tasked with monitoring the works associated with expanding Niger’s oil production and trading. SONIDEP is monitoring drilling works underway to expand the Agadem block as well as the construction and operation of the Niger-Berlin pipeline, a $4.5 billion project that will enable the country to trade up to 90,000 barrels of oil per day.
“Although Africa has massive hydrocarbon reserves, which we can use to improve access to energy for the over 600 million that are living in energy poverty, the lack of infrastructures such as refineries, transportation pipelines, and storage continues to restrict the growth of the market. It is through organizations such as SONIDEP that we can understand these industry challenges and tailor solutions. The participation of SONIDEP at AEW 2022 is a game-changer, as the company will drive dialogue around challenges being faced by oil and gas infrastructure operators and developers, offering insight into how they can be addressed as Africa seeks to use its hydrocarbons to make energy poverty history by 2030,” states Verner Ayukegba, senior vice president at the African Energy Chamber.
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