Niger's Soraz Refinery Back on Line after 45-day Shutdown

Source: Reuters 10/2/2015, Location: Africa

China National Petroleum Corporation's (CNPC) Soraz oil refinery in Niger has resumed production after a 45-day shutdown due to a mechanical failure, a company spokesman said.

The refinery, a joint venture between CNPC and the government, ha a capacity of 20,000 barrels per day and processes oil from the West African country's Agadem field that started production in 2011.

"Output has restarted at Soraz," the refinery's head of communication, Magagi Dada, told local television. "The refinery has had a technical shutdown since mid-August but the problem has been fixed."

CNPC blocked exports of oil products from the refinery in July in a bid to wrest this business from state-owned oil firm SONIDEP, union officials said. Supplies to the domestic market were also affected from August due to the refinery shutdown.

SONIDEP Director General Ousmane Idi Ango said on Wednesday the government was not willing to cede control of the business.

The refinery's production has never reached its capacity, oscillating between 12,000 and 16,000 barrels a day. Under the terms of the agreement between CNPC and Niger, 7,000 barrels a day are reserved for the domestic market, with the rest available for export.


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