Europe is showing particular interest in the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline, as one of the important alternatives to Russian energy supplies after the Ukraine war.
The old continent plans to increase its imports of liquefied natural gas by 50 billion cubic meters, and through a pipeline from countries other than Russia by 10 billion cubic meters, according to a report published by Bloomberg, citing a document prepared by the European Commission.
To do this, Europe is examining, among other things, the possibility of using the largely untapped potential of LNG in Africa, while identifying major gas pipeline projects, such as the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline.
The importance of the gas pipeline between Nigeria and Morocco
Morocco and Nigeria are working to accelerate the construction of the 7,000-kilometre Trans-African Gas Pipeline, which will connect the two countries through the waters of 13 African countries in order to transport gas to Europe.
However, the gas pipeline between Nigeria and Morocco should last for 20 years, and does not solve the problem of Europe, which immediately needs an alternative to Russian gas, according to the local French-speaking platform Belady.
According to the French researcher on energy issues, Francis Perrin, “there is still a long way to go” to achieve the gas pipeline project between Nigeria and Morocco, because “two main issues must be studied before the construction phase: markets and financing,” in statements to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo.
For his part, said Jose Ignacio Linares, professor of energy engineering, “The gas pipeline may cause great damage to Russia, because it will take a few years to redirect the flow of these exports to China or South Asian countries.”
However, Linares acknowledges that “the Russian gas blockade will have economic consequences for Europe, given that the industrial sector consumes the most gas,” warning of “job losses and economic stagnation, especially in countries with a highly developed industrial sector such as Germany.”
Gas pipeline developments between Nigeria and Morocco
Earlier this month, Nigerian Oil Minister Timbri Silva said that he had received Russian officials last week.
“They are keen to invest in this project, and there are many other people who would also like to do so,” he said.
Moscow will be interested in this gas pipeline, to circumvent Western sanctions, and continue to remain at the forefront of the gas market in Europe on the one hand, and compete with the West and China on the African continent, which has huge oil reserves, on the other.
Last April, the Australian company Worley announced that it had won a contract to provide a forward engineering design study for the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project.
The company explained – in a press release it issued – that the gas pipeline will be the longest offshore pipeline in the world, and the second longest pipeline in general.
gas production in africa
In a related context, Africa is expected to record a significant increase in its gas production by the end of the third decade of this century, according to a study published by Rystad Energy last Thursday, May 12th.
The study expected that gas production on the continent would reach a peak of 470 billion cubic meters during this period, which represents about 75% of the volume of gas produced by Russia in 2022.
The study indicated that the amount of gas produced in Africa should increase from 260 billion cubic meters this year, to 335 billion cubic meters by the end of the first decade of this century, according to the French-speaking “Agnes Ecovin” platform.
“The current gas pipeline infrastructure between North Africa and Europe and historical LNG supply ties make Africa a powerful alternative to European markets, following the ban on Russian imports,” said Rystad Energy’s lead analyst, Seva Prasad.
According to this logic, Europe could contribute to the financing of several African gas projects, such as the Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline, or the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline, to secure its energy supplies in the long term.
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