Nigeria, Algeria, Niger in Talks over Gas Pipeline To Europe
Discussing a gas pipeline to Europe, Algeria, Nigeria, and Niger, three major producers of energy in Africa, inked a memorandum of understanding on a massive gas pipeline project that might provide Europe with future alternatives to Russian supplies, according to official media.
Billions of cubic meters of gas would be transported via the Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline (TSGP) over a distance of 4,128 km (2,565 mi) from Nigeria in West Africa to Algeria via Niger.
From there, it may be transported to Italy via the Transmed undersea pipeline in the Mediterranean or loaded into LNG tankers for export.
Timipre Sylva and Mahamane Sani, the energy ministers of Nigeria and Niger, were guests of Algeria’s Mohamed Arkab on Thursday for discussions over the project, according to the state news agency APS.
The details of the memorandum of understanding were not made public, but interest in the long-abandoned project has increased recently as a result of the rise in gas prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The TSGP’s construction was projected to cost $10 billion when it was first planned in 2009.
Gas might be redirected to supply markets along the pipeline’s route or in other parts of the Sahel region, in addition to European markets.
Following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, demand for Algeria, Africa’s largest natural gas supplier, has already surged as Western countries search the world for supplies to replace Russian oil and gas.
Algiers is looking for further opportunities to profit from the current global energy prices.
However, the TSGP would confront significant logistical and security difficulties as it traveled through miles of desert where jihadist groups had been engaged in a protracted struggle.
According to Geoff D. Porter, an energy specialist at North Africa Risk Consulting, “a pipeline like this would be very vulnerable, not just to attacks by jihadists but also by local communities if they believe they’re getting exploited by a business from which they gain no benefit.”
And who will provide the funding after that?