A new 1950-kilometre pipeline being built by China National Petroleum Corporation to carry crude from Niger's Agadem basin to Port Seme in Benin will cut through a well established Sub-Saharan Africa oil region and will serve as a symbolic barrier of sorts marking vastly different approaches to the oil and gas industry.

Challenges are not unknown in Niger, Benin and Nigeria, which the new pipeline will traverse.

But the three nations are mostly business friendly and relatively welcoming to international companies.

The six-nation bloc known as Cemac, also resource-rich, is implementing new monetary rules that could discourage new investment, however — just at a time when many agree that it is sorely needed to maintain production.

In this four-page feature, Upstream correspondents Barry Morgan and Xu Yihe take a look at the key issues at play in Central Africa's oil and gas sector.


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1: The long and short of energy in Africa's heartland

Comparatively business-friendly Benin, Niger and Nigeria contrast with more bureaucratic and authoritarian oil regimes in the sub-region.

2: CNPC mapping out route for Niger-Benin pipe plans

Chinese state giant driving forward plans for a $7 billion pipeline from Niger's Agadem basin to Port Seme in Benin.

3: Crude pipeline the driving force in Niger

Huge oil and gas infrastructure investment from China's CNPC shoring up investor confidence in landlocked African nation.

4: Industry investment under threat in Central Africa

Capital control proposals to reform monetary rules raise alarms for region’s precariously balanced oil and gas industry.

5: Rule change riles international players

New rule requiring companies operating in Cemac countries to retain revenues in the Central African CFA franc (XAF) currency could produce a windfall in exchange fees for local banks — and headaches for international businesses in the region.