Europe sets its sights on gas from Nigeria: “We double import”
The EU now imports 14% of its LNG from Africa
(Sustainabilityenvironment.com) – After Azerbaijan, Egypt and Israel, Europe tries to secure more gas supplies from Nigeria to bring dependency on Russia to zero. As with Baku, here too Brussels aims to double the volumes of liquid natural gas that it will buy from the African country. The European gas race is continuing, while the plan to cut gas consumption presented by the Commission is still facing strong opposition from many Member States.
This was confirmed by Matthew Baldwin, Deputy Director-General of the Energy Department of the European Commission. The EU official was in Nigeria at the weekend for a series of meetings with the authorities of the country. From which he emerged optimistic.
EU plans on gas from Nigeria
The meetings focused on two dossiers. The first is the security situation in the Niger delta. The actions of local groups against oil and gas infrastructures have been going on for many years, as a form of protest both against the very heavy pollution of the region – which deprives the inhabitants of the means of subsistence and leads to health problems – and against the lack of redistribution of revenue. For these reasons, the LNG terminal located in the delta at Bonny Island operates at 60% capacity. According to Baldwin, given that the Nigerian authorities are “securing” the region, it would be possible to climb at least up to 80%. From that threshold upwards, there would be room for more LNG cargo for Europe.
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The other dossier is the reopening of the Trans Niger Pipeline, which has been closed several times in recent years due to attacks by insurgent groups and oil thefts. It is an ancient infrastructure, inaugurated in 1965, whose frequent leaks have led the owner Shell to close it several times.
How long would it take to get more gas supplies from Nigeria? On this point there are no details, but Baldwin has suggested that at the end of August something can already be realized. “Nigerian officials told us: ‘Come and talk to us again at the end of August, because we think we can make real progress in this sense'”. The ultimate goal, however, would be to double the supply of gas to Europe from Nigeria. Currently, the old continent imports about 14% of LNG from the African country. With a downward trend: from 36 billion cubic meters in 2018 it had passed to 23 in 2021.