The Chinese language-constructed Soraz oil refinery in southern Niger is now operational again after a forty five-day shutdown due to a blown compressor. That Soraz is up and working once more will come as welcome relief to the people of Niger who rely upon the 7,000 barrels a day of refined oil produced from the power that provide the home market.
Not everybody although believes Soraz went offline merely due to a technical downside. As a substitute, suspicions began to circulate that China National Petroleum Corporation intentionally blew the compressor as part of a scheme to drive the government to resolve a bitter monetary dispute. Regardless of widespread allegations of a Chinese conspiracy, it will be important to note that there is no factual proof to assist claims of sabotage.
The Soraz refinery is a joint venture between CNPC and the government. It started operations again in 2011 when there was lots of promise to leverage Niger’s oil reserves to assist elevate this nation of 16 million folks out of poverty. Simply as with other oil states in West Africa, any sense of hope that came with the invention of petroleum has been crushed by corruption, mismanagement and the tough reality of petropolitics.
Slightly than ship any monetary uplift for Niger, Soraz is instead buried virtually a billion dollars of debt.
Enterprise Insider defense and navy editor Armin Rosen not too long ago traveled to Niger the place he reported on the controversy over the Soraz refinery shutdown. Armin joins Eric & Cobus — in the podcast above — to explain why he thinks CNPC is to blame for the recent turmoil.