The Chinese-constructed Soraz oil refinery in southern Niger is now operational once more after a forty five-day shutdown on account of a blown compressor. That Soraz is up and working again will come as welcome relief to the individuals of Niger who rely on the 7,000 barrels a day of refined oil produced from the facility that provide the home market.
Not everybody although believes Soraz went offline merely due to a technical problem. As a substitute, suspicions began to circulate that China National Petroleum Company intentionally blew the compressor as part of a scheme to force the federal government to resolve a bitter monetary dispute. Regardless of widespread allegations of a Chinese conspiracy, it is important to notice that there isn’t a factual evidence to support claims of sabotage.
The Soraz refinery is a joint venture between CNPC and the federal government. It began operations back in 2011 when there was loads of promise to leverage Niger’s oil reserves to assist raise this country of 16 million individuals out of poverty. Simply as with other oil states in West Africa, any sense of hope that came with the discovery of petroleum has been crushed by corruption, mismanagement and the harsh reality of petropolitics.
Somewhat than ship any monetary uplift for Niger, Soraz is as an alternative buried nearly a billion dollars of debt.
Business Insider defense and military editor Armin Rosen recently traveled to Niger where he reported on the controversy over the Soraz refinery shutdown. Armin joins Eric & Cobus — within the podcast above — to clarify why he thinks CNPC is to blame for the current turmoil.