Nigeria has given the go-ahead to the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to carry out a deal to build a gas pipeline to Europe via Morocco.
There have been reports of increased demand for African energy supplies from the EU, which is looking to reduce its reliance on Russian oil and gas.
“This gas pipeline is to take gas to 15 West African countries and to Morocco and through Morocco to Spain and Europe,” said Timipre Sylva, the minister of state for petroleum resources.
“It is only after the engineering design of the pipeline that we will know exactly (what) the cost of the pipeline will be. When that time comes, we will be talking about funding,” he added.
Nigeria and Morocco formed a joint venture in 2016 to build the pipeline, which will transport gas to 15 West African countries and through Morocco to Spain and Europe, according to junior oil minister Timipre Sylva, who presented the request for approval at a cabinet meeting in Abuja.
Both countries announced last year that the pipeline will be 5,660 km (3,517 miles) long and will be built in 25-year phases. They have begun feasibility studies with the intention of building the pipeline both onshore and offshore.
The project, which has been hailed as beneficial to West African economic integration, would also add to the network of existing gas pipelines that transport supplies to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea.
The cabinet meeting on Wednesday was presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who is running for the ruling party’s nomination to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, who is set to step down next year after serving two full terms. Buhari is currently in Spain.
Nigeria is a member of the OPEC group of major oil producers and has massive gas reserves, including the largest proven reserves in Africa and the seventh largest in the world. Tanzania transported 60,000 tonnes of coal to the Netherlands on May 30.
Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi said last month that European countries had “flooded” his country with requests for coal.
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