Middle East / Africa

Benin flag
Summary | Profile

Country profile: Benin

Location: Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Nigeria and Togo
Climate: tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north
Terrain: mostly flat to undulating plain; some hills and low mountains
Size: 112620 sq. km total (Land area: 110620 sq. km  Water area: 2000 sq.km)
Population: 8,294,941
Languages: French (official), Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north)
Government: republic
Capital city: Porto-Novo
Legal system: based on French civil law and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note

Country profile

Regional leaders created the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on May 28, 1975 in Lagos, Nigeria. ECOWAS is comprised of 15 countries, which include: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire , The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria , Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. The leaders established ECOWAS to promote regional integration and economic growth in West Africa, as well as to create a monetary union in the region. However, ECOWAS has encountered problems in the process of regional integration including: political instability and lack of good governance that has plagued many member countries, the insufficient diversification of national economies, the absence of reliable infrastructure, and the multiplicity of organizations for regional integration with the same objectives.

Commercial energy resources in ECOWAS, primarily petroleum and natural gas, are concentrated in coastal and offshore regions. Electricity in West Africa is generated through thermal (57.8 percent of installed capacity) or hydroelectric (42.2 percent) resources. Natural gas could take a more significant role in the Community's energy sector as fields in Nigeria and Côte d'Ivoire are developed. Due to a relatively small urban population in ECOWAS (approximately 33.9 percent) and lack of infrastructure, access to commercial energy sources is limited. In 2005, Nigeria had petroleum exports of 2.3 million barrels per day (bbl/d), while Côte d’Ivoire, exported 39,000 bbl/d of petroleum. All other ECOWAS countries are net energy importers. In 2003, ECOWAS consumed. 1.43 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) of commercial energy (0.4 percent of total world consumption) and produced 5.82 quadrillion Btu (1.4 percent of total world production).

Also in 2003, the region generated 33.2 million metric tons of carbon equivalent (0.5 percent of the world total). Nigeria accounted for 66.7 percent (0.99 quadrillion Btu) of energy consumption in ECOWAS, 96.3 percent (5.6 quadrillion Btu) of energy production, and 76.9 percent (33.16 million metric tons) of the Community's carbon emissions. ECOWAS has plans to create a $50 billion fund that will be used to boost energy services for the West African population and to curb energy shortfalls that are seen as a hindrance to economic development and regional integration. ECOWAS has set December 2007 as the target for the creation of the fund. By 2015, with the help of additional energy, ECOWAS would like to see a 50 percent reduction in poverty within the Community.

Energy production and consumption

Oil Gas
Production:  bbl/day (2007)  
Consumption: 9,232 bbl/day (2007)  
Exports:  bbl/day (2007)  
Imports: 16,830 bbl/day (2007)  
Reserves: 8 million bbl (1 January 2006 est.) 1 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Major fields:

Benin - recent news

17 Apr 23
Benin: Zenith Energy provides update on Block 1 PSC in Benin
Zenith Energy has confirmed that it is currently performing the necessary legal and technical work in coordination with the Ministry of Water and Mines of the Republic of Benin for the finalisation of a Production Sharing Contract for Block 1 containing the Sèmè oilfield, offshore Benin.
10 Jan 23
Benin: Zenith Energy given exclusivity to negotiate the terms of a PSC for Block 1, offshore Benin
Zenith Energy has announced that the Ministry of Water and Mines of the Republic of Benin has awarded Zenith Energy an exclusivity for a period of three months to negotiate and finalise the terms of a Production Sharing Contract ('PSC') for Block 1 containing the Sèmè oilfield, offshore Benin.
22 Sep 22
Benin: Zenith Energy bids for licence to operate Block 1 containing the Seme oil field, offshore Benin
Zenith Energy has presented an offer to the relevant Ministry in the Republic of Benin for the award of an initial nine-year licence to operate Block 1 containing the Sèmè oilfield, offshore Benin.
11 Mar 19
Benin: United Oil & Gas signs option agreement with Elephant Oil to farm in to Block B onshore Benin
United Oil & Gas has signed an option agreement with Elephant Oil to farm in to the Block B onshore acreage in Bénin, potentially taking a 20 percent interest in the production sharing agreement ('PSC').

Benin - more news

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