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A photograph of Lake Chad taken from Apollo 7 in 1968

Chad wants to triple oil output in the next two years, according to Finance Minister Atteib Doutoum who said, “We aim to become the business hub of Francophone central Africa.”

The revenue from the increased output will be used to fund the construction of a business zone in the capital city of N’djamena, projected to cost more than $500 million.

Oil production in Chad began in 2003, after a pipeline was completed connecting Chad to the Atlantic Ocean cutting across neighboring Cameroon.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, production reached 115,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2011, but dropped to 105,000 bpd in 2012.

So far in 2013, production has failed to reach 100,000 bpd.

The government is betting that as new oilfields near Lake Chad begin to produce, output will be 200,000 bpd next year and 300,000 bpd by 2015.