Having held talks last month on the revival of a decades-old project to pipe gas across the Sahara,- Nigeria, Algeria, and Niger have signed a memorandum of understanding to build a natural gas pipeline across the Sahara desert.
The Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Nigeria, took to its official Twitter account to make the announcement.
The three African countries met in June to commence the decades-old talks on fast-tracking the completion of the multi-billion project.
The project will create the infrastructure needed to take gas directly to the European market, thereby creating a solution to the infrastructural problems encountered in taking gas to the market.
The Trans-Saharan gas pipeline is an estimated $13 billion project that will start from Nigeria through Niger and end in Algeria, where it will connect to existing pipelines that run to Europe. After completion, the pipeline would send up to 30 billion cubic meters per year of gas supplies to Europe.
The commencement of this gas project gives the European Union a sign of hope as the bloc is seeking alternative sources to make up for Russia’s supply cuts. The EU also anticipates that Russia will completely shut off its gas supplies to Europe as a way to get back at the west after receiving sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine.
According to Reuters, “the revival comes at a strategic time, as the European Union seeks to wean itself off Russian gas following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and is seeking alternative sources.”
What You Need to Know
- The pipeline which will transport gas over 4000 km will not only allow Europe to diversify its sources of natural gas supply but also allow several African states to access this high-value energy source, according to Reuters.
- The Trans-Saharan gas pipeline was first proposed more than 40 years ago and an intergovernmental agreement was signed between the countries in 2009. In February 2022, Nigeria, Algeria, and Niger signed an agreement to restart the development of the project to supply European markets via pipeline connections in Algeria.
- Nigeria also took steps last month to move forward on the long-awaited Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline, which would go through West Africa and Morocco to Europe. The project was proposed in a December 2016 agreement between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Moroccan Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (National Board of Hydrocarbons and Mines) (ONHYM).