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The World’s Longest Offshore Gas Pipeline Could Get The Green Light Next Year

Nigeria, Morocco, and their partners expect to make a final investment decision next year on what would be the world’s longest offshore gas pipeline from Nigeria to Morocco and onto southern Europe, the chief executive of the Nigerian state oil firm told Bloomberg in an interview.

The pipeline, expected to cost between $20 billion and $25 billion, is planned to run for 3,840 miles (5,600 kilometers) from Nigeria along the West African coast to Morocco before connecting with pipelines in Italy and Spain and potentially delivering more non-Russian gas to Europe.

Nigeria wants to monetize and export more of its vast natural gas resources, which are now currently only exported by Nigeria LNG, a joint venture of NNPC and international oil and gas majors. More gas exports for Nigeria would also mean diversifying the African producer’s gas export routes and eliminating gas flaring, according to Nigerian officials.

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Last month, NNPC and the Moroccan Office National of Hydrocarbons and Mines signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline.  

“We will take a final investment decision next year,” Mele Kyari, CEO at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), told Bloomberg in an interview published on Monday.  

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According to NNPC’s top executive, the huge pipeline will be built in stages, with the first one expected to take three years to complete. The other phases of the construction would take five years, Kyari told Bloomberg. Nigeria, Morocco, and other stakeholders are currently discussing terms of financing with potential financial partners and lenders, he added.

Nigeria plans to significantly boost its gas production, and quadrupling output in the next four years is “very realizable,” the manager said.

The longest offshore pipeline – if completed on time – could supply more pipeline gas from Africa to Europe by the end of this decade, when the EU will have freed itself from Russian gas, according to its current plans.

By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on October 10 2022 said:
    The Nigerian-Morocco gas pipeline (NMGP) like many other African pipelines and projects before it may not see the light of day.

    There are several promising African projects on the table which have failed to materialize so far. A case in point is the 4,128 km-long Trans-Saharan gas pipeline involving Nigeria, Niger and Algeria. This proposed pipeline was first conceived in 1970 and is still languishing at the drawing board stage 42 years later despite many memorandums of understanding signed over the years, the latest of which just three months ago.

    While the motivation behind building the Nigeria-Morocco pipeline is valid, the countries involved lack a developed infrastructure, the technical know-how and the financial resources to foot the bill for a pipeline expected to cost $20-$25 bn. For that, they need huge foreign investments which won’t be forthcoming when the global economy is headed towards a very harsh recession.

    Last month, US climate czar John Kerry discouraged investors from funding long-term gas projects in Africa, warning that they would end up as stranded assets after 2030.

    The West puts so much importance on the climate change agenda in Africa although the continent is the world’s smallest emitter of emissions accounting for only 3.8% of global emissions.

    I would hazard two explanations for the West’s attitude. The first explanation is that the West is under the misjudged and erroneous view that any future energy assets – like investing in oil and gas production and building pipelines will end up after 2030 as stranded assets. The second explanation is a more sinister one, with the West wishing to keep African energy resources underground in order to satisfy its own appetite for energy in the future.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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