The Chinese state-owned oil giant is planning to export the oil through Chad and Cameroon, according to Niger television reports.
Niger, an impoverished, landlocked country in West Africa, began pumping oil in 2011 but output has mostly been used for a domestic refinery co-owned by the government and CNPC.
CNPC is already pumping oil in the Agadem Block, located in the semi-arid eastern region of Diffa, bordering Chad.
“This second phase (of CNPC’s development of the Agadem Block) involves 59 oil wells with an expected 1 billion barrels of oil. The oil will be exported through the route from Niger to Chad to Cameroon,” Reuters quoted government spokesman Marou Amadou as saying on Friday.
Amadou added that the new development would allow the country to export between 60,000 to 80,000 barrels per day, without specifying how quickly exports could rise.
The government announcement suggested that reserves in the Agadem Block could be much bigger than previous estimates of 650 million barrels.
CNPC is also looking for oil in the northern Bilma Block in partnership with Canadian TVI Pacific’s TG World.
Niger signed an agreement with Cameroon in September to export its oil via a new link to the existing Cameroon-Chad pipeline which transports oil to the Atlantic port of Kribi.
Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou is also planning a study for a pipeline via its southern neighbour Benin, Amadou said.
Niger’s capital Niamey has called for further contributions from investors to the country’s infrastructure and its decision to award a further permit to CNPC follows an announcement that the Chinese firm would invest 100 billion CFA francs to construct roads in eastern Niger, Reuters said.