OPEC to Fund Feasibility Study of $25bn Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund has announced a $14.3 million contribution to Phase II of the feasibility study for the $25 billion Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline.

This comes as the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, according to a recent study, has offset its cash call obligations to International Oil Companies (IOCs) to the tune of $3.717 billion over the previous six years.

However, while the NNPC works to pay down its debts to the IOCs, mounting petrol subsidy claims have continued to wreak havoc on the economy, with economists predicting that Nigeria’s budget deficit would reach N10 trillion by the end of the year.

The intervention, which will be directly funded by the OPEC Fund for International Development (IFID), is intended to help the Moroccan government’s national development strategy focused at transitioning to a low-carbon energy sector, according to OPEC.

According to OPEC, it will assist the country diversify its energy mix and meet its renewable energy targets.

The research will conduct in-depth analyses of the execution and design processes for the gas pipeline’s ultimate completion, easing the final investment decision.

The OPEC Fund’s contribution, according to the organisation, will be used to co-finance survey activities for the NMGP’s North Area (Senegal, Mauritania, and Morocco).

At the weekend, Morocco and the OPEC Fund agreed to fund a feasibility study in advance of the building of the world’s longest offshore pipeline, which will connect Nigeria and Morocco.

According to Worley, the corporation in charge of the present phase of the project, the gas pipeline would span 7,000 kilometres and connect 13 West African nations to Europe.

It was also learned that the Australian energy company’s London team would deliver the onshore portion of the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) study on the proposed pipeline from Nigeria to Morocco, including the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and Land Acquisition Studies (LAS).

Nadia Fettah, Morocco’s Economy and Finance Minister, signed the agreement with Abdulhamid Al khalifa, Director-General of the OPEC Fund, and Amina Benkhadra, Managing Director of Morocco’s National Office for Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONYHM).

The study, which was co-financed by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), consists of a body of research on the construction of the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline, encompassing technical, financial, and legal elements, according to a statement released after the event.

The pipeline, which was launched in 2017 as part of a cooperative endeavour, intends to increase local economies’ competitiveness by giving safe access to an energy source. It will transport gas from Nigeria to Europe, as well as supply nations along the route. After the IDB authorised the project in December 2021, Morocco and Nigeria reached an agreement to fund the FEED. Morocco and Nigeria have agreed to fund the megaproject jointly. The entire cost of the FEED study is expected to be $90.1 million.

President Muhammadu Buhari had in 2021, held a phone call with Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, where the Nigerian leader expressed his country’s determination to bring the pipeline online as soon as possible, according to a report by Morocco World News.

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