On Thursday, November 15, the Council of Ministers of Niger announced the discovery of an important oil reservoir in Kafra , a border region in Algeria. The discovery is the work of the Algerian oil company Sonatrach , which between December 2017 and February 2018 carried out various surveys that confirmed the existence of these new deposits.
The Council of Ministers approved an addendum to the partnership agreement with Sonatrach , signed in August 2015, for the division of the expenses and profits of the extraction of black gold. Now it is necessary to drill to allow to calculate exactly the reservoir reserves and any deposits connected to it but not yet discovered. At the moment they estimate that they are talking about 90,000 barrels a day which will allow Niger to reach the production of 110,000 barrels a day.
Modest but sufficient to revive the small West African state from poverty . Currently, Niger produces 20,000 barrels a day through an agreement signed with the Chinese multinational CNPC – China National Petroleum Corporation , in 2011, for the exploitation of oil fields discovered in the region of the Agadem. The Minister of Hydrocarbons, Foumakoye Gado , has announced that next December the construction of a pipeline to Cameroon , through Chad, for the export of Nigerian crude oil will start .
The discovery of this basin is yet another proof that the whole Sahara contains as a whole the estimated oil deposits of greater importance than those currently present in the Middle East . The oil basin of the Sahara, if associated with those of East Africa and North Africa, allow to face a possible progressive depletion of Middle Eastern deposits , a process already started in some Saudi deposits, exploited for over 45 years. The r African eserves can be an important source of well-being and development if the oil production will be wisely managed, but at the same time, they are one of the main factors holding back the global industry to prepare the transition from hydrocarbons to that founded on based on clean energy sources. As long as the multinationals have deposits to exploit, the use of clean energy sources will be postponed.
The shift from the hydrocarbon economy to that of alternative energy sources requires strong public investments to adapt the entire energy distribution system and the locomotion system. Just think of the hundreds of millions of petrol engine vehicles circulating on the planet that should be replaced with electric vehicles or water engines. The transition between the two economies would lead to the loss of political and economic hegemony of the Seven Sisters , a true cartel that controls a large part of the world economy through the supply of oil and derivatives , placed totally outside the control of governments and cause main of all oil-related wars, from the Middle East to Africa.
The discovery of the African deposits has created another brake factor for the transition between the two economies. African governments do not intend to give up the exploitation of this resource to start the process of industrialization. For them alternative energies represent another form of dependence on the West , since they do not possess the necessary technologies. On the contrary, black gold is a strong currency of exchange that allows many African countries to launch nationalistic policies on exploitation , directing production towards the continental market , decreasing the exported crude. Uganda has been a pioneer of this policy.
This is not the case with Niger , a semi-Islamic state with strong democratic shortcomings. The regime of Mahamadou Issoufou , in power since 2011, is directing oil production towards the classic colonial export economy , without providing , as in the more advanced countries (Ghana, Uganda), the construction of refineries for the transformation into fuel for the domestic or regional economy . Niger will export its modest quantities of oil, buying fuel and derivatives from Western and Asian multinationals.
Also on the possibility that the Nigerian deposits can contribute to the wellbeing of the population and to the economic development of the country, many doubts weigh. The agreements are opaque and civil society is totally ousted from the monitoring of revenues and the environmental impact . The absence of control committees composed of ordinary citizens opens the door to all sorts of financial abuse and corruption.
In the alternative energy sector , Africa has started in 2014 to carry out various projects for the production of solar , geothermal and wind energy , in Rwanda , Kenya and other countries. But the sector remains secondary , compared to the dominant economy based on hydrocarbons.
The China factor is not to be underestimated . The Red Dodge empire is based on heavy industry and the huge amount of high-value currency held at the Central Bank, which allows Beijing its policy of economic expansion in terms of tight competition with the West . A competition aimed at moving the areas of influence from the north to the south of the world . It is unlikely that in the coming decades the Chinese Communist Party will decide to abandon the hydrocarbon economy by investing large sums for the transition to an economy based on clean energy sources. Economically, the passage is not convenient, and it will only happen when the last oil well has dried up.
Other oil frontiers on the horizon help to remove the transition between the two economies. One of these borders is the Arctic , where it is known the presence of huge oil fields and is currently the subject of a close territorial dispute between Russia and the United States . All these factors contribute to removing the transition between the two economies, worsening the global warming situation. New industrial powers, especially in Africa, do not even want to hear control talks of the emission of gas directly related to the greenhouse effect and, coincidentally, created by the economy of hydrocarbons. The new industrial parks and the exponential increase of the vehicle fleet in the continent will increase the percentage of greenhouse gas emissions contributing to global warming of the planet.
The discovery of the new basin in Niger is a potential source of destabilization . Currently the regime is turning to Algerian and Chinese multinationals , excluding Western ones . A political choice that could prove counterproductive to the stability of the country. The Sahara oil basin is a source of contention between the United States and Europe , in particular France. The competition started in 2011, and is aimed at controlling this immense African area. The first step was to eliminate the regional power represented by Libya by Colonel Gaddafi. An economically stable and rich country aimed at a Pan-African policy. As Hillary Clinton ‘s recently intercepted April 2, 2011 email shows , the ‘ fake ‘ Libyan revolution and subsequent Western military intervention led by France were motivated to halt the process of economic and financial independence of the oil and gas-rich region. .
” The Gaddafi government holds 143 tons of gold and a huge amount of silver. This gold has been accumulated to be used for the creation of a pan-African currency based on the Libyan dinar that could be a valid alternative to the CFA Franc of the Francophone African countries ” , reads the email. The French secret services had discovered the financial plan before the revolution, influencing President Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to launch an attack against Libya . The Western powers, faced with the risk of losing the strategic region of the Sahara, did not hesitate a moment to transform an economically advanced country into a hell, where dozens of militias are colliding, placing Libya in a situation of Somali chaos that will last for decades.
After Mali was the turn of Mali , as a warning to all countries in the region: abandoning any idea of sovereignty and financial economic independence as the oil fields are vital for Western industries. The escalation of the civil war in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon could have origins from foreign interference aimed at blocking the nationalistic policy timidly initiated by the dictator Paul Biya in power for over 30 years. The development of various wabite terrorist groups linked to Al Qaeda, DAESH and Saudi Arabia would also be the work of Western powers to destabilize entire African countries such as Nigeria.
The current policy of containing illegal immigration seems to be an excuse offered to Western public opinion to justify military engagement in the Sahara region . This would explain why the main human trafficking routes in Europe pass right in the area controlled by the American and French military that do not interfere in any way. Routes that pass through the Niger, in the direction of Libya, alternatives to routes that pass from Sudan.
The choice of Niger to entrust oil extraction to Algerian and Chinese companies in itself would not create particular frictions as these deposits are small, but represents a dangerous precedent for other neighboring countries . So do not be surprised if in the near future Niger will start the classic ‘western rumba’.