The Nigerian government has ordered its state oil company NNPC to implement a deal on a gas pipeline to Europe via Morocco.
Africa’s gas resources are increasingly in the spotlight as the European Union seeks to wean itself off Russian supplies after February’s invasion of Ukraine.
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Approval of a memorandum of understanding on the gas project with West African regional bloc ECOWAS was given after a cabinet meeting, Nigerian Oil Minister Timipre Sylva told reporters in Abuja on Wednesday night.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer and a major supplier of gas and liquefied natural gas.
The minister said: “This gas line will deliver gas to 15 West African countries and to Morocco and through Morocco to Spain and to Europe.”
He added that the project was in a design phase and details, including cost and funding, were still being worked out.
“It is only after the technical design of the pipeline that we will know exactly (what) the cost of the pipeline will be. When the time comes, we will talk about funding,” he said.
Four years ago, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari agreed to go ahead with the mega-project to transport gas along the Atlantic coast, after signing a first agreement in 2016.
As part of the deal, the two countries plan to expand the pipeline that has been bringing gas from Nigeria to Benin, Togo and Ghana since 2010.
The project of a gas pipeline bringing gas resources from Nigeria to North Africa has long been discussed, and Algeria has also entered into talks with Nigeria for a similar project crossing the Sahel region.
Nigeria is a member of the OPEC group of major oil producers and has huge gas resources – the largest proven reserves in Africa and the seventh largest in the world.
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