Energy in Benin
Energy in Benin is a growing industry with tremendous potential.
Production from the Sémé off shore oil field began in October 1982 by Saga Petroleum, a Norwegian company working under a service contract. The field yielded 1.35 million barrels (215,000 m3) of oil in 1991. In 1990, Benin exported an estimated 1.27 million barrels (202,000 m3) of crude oil. In 1986, the contract was transferred to Pan Ocean Oil (Panoco), a Swiss-based US company, but loans to Benin from international development agencies were frozen because the company could not furnish satisfactory financial and capability statements; it withdrew, forcing Benin to take over oil production. Reserves, which were estimated at 44 million barrels (7,000,000 m3), were considered sufficient to meet domestic needs, but there is currently no refinery in Benin; consequently, refined petroleum products have to be re-imported. In 2002, imports of refined petroleum products amounted to 12,600 barrels per day (2,000 m3/d). The company responsible for petroleum products import is Société Nationale de Commercialisation des Produits Pétroliers (SONACOP).
Although Benin has moderate natural gas reserves, there is no natural gas production and all natural gas is imported. The company responsible for the gas import is Société Beninoise de Gaz. Natural gas is supplied to Benin by the West African Gas Pipeline.
Electrical generating capacity in 2002, totaled 122 MW. Total domestic power output in that same year was 55 GWh, of which hydropower accounted for 2 GWh and fossil fuels for the rest. Electricity consumption in 2002 was 488 GWh. An agreement was signed with Togo and Ghana in 1967 under which Benin receives low-cost electric power from the Akosombo Dam on the Volta River in Ghana. Total electricity imports for 2002 were estimated at 437 GWh. Togo and Benin are constructing a dam on the Mono River, along the Togo border, that will feed a power station to supply the southern regions of both countries. Benin also imports electricity from Nigeria through the CEB-NEPA Power Interconnection, commissioned in 2007.