The Oil for Development programme in Benin
The first offshore oilfield in West Africa, the Seme field, was developed in 1979–1983 by Saga Petroleum.
Between 1984 and 1998, various oil companies were involved in the production, which stopped in 1998.
Benin wants to extract the remaining oil and gas from the proven drilled structures, as well as explore for further resources, including in very deep waters.
An export oil pipeline is under construction from Niger, through Benin from the north to the terminal at Seme, close to the capital Porto Novo. The oil export from Niger will be transferred to oil tankers off the coast of Benin. This export will constitute around 90 000 barrels per day.
In January 2018, Benin formally requested support under the OfD programme. After considering Benin as a potential OfD partner, the OfD Steering Committee granted approval for a limited cooperation programme.
A joint programme proposal between the Beninese and Norwegian institutions was developed in 2019, with emphasis on developing a petroleum policy, establishing a ‘state of the art’ data management system, as well as undertaking a pipeline exercise with a focus on health, safety and the environment.
A cooperation agreement is being prepared between Norad and the Benin Government.