Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva has revealed that Nigeria currently has plans to meet European demands for natural gas, but warns it will take time to build the infrastructure necessary to up capacity.
Sylva disclosed this in an interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday morning.
He added that Nigeria currently is working on 2 plans to pass gas to Europe through Algeria and Morocco.
The Minister said that apart from the geopolitical tensions being raised, he believes that this validates what OPEC and oil and gas exporters have been saying.
He said, “We have not been investing in the oil and gas sector for long and we expected this (tensions with Russia) was going to happen at some point, and that there will be a gap (in oil and gas exports)
“That gap cannot be filled by renewables, because we are not investing that quickly into renewables, we are not developing.
“So now there is a gap. In addition, we have all these geopolitical tensions. So what do you expect? It’s a perfect storm. We are saying we must move gradually into renewables because if investment is taken so quickly from fossil fuels, they cannot be replaced by renewables at the same rate. That’s the reality.”
On Nigeria replacing Russia’s supply of gas to Europe, Sylva said he is not aware of any high-level talks with the West, but what he is aware of as the Petroleum Minister is that Nigeria wants to take its gas to Europe. He said Nigeria also signed an MoU with Algeria and the Niger Republic to accelerate this plan, highlighting that however, the Morrocco pipeline is actually at the level of studies.
“We are having those kinds of conversations with Algeria. We are saying we want to build a pipeline, the trans-Saharan pipeline that will take gas all the way to Europe. We are planning how to take our gas to Morrocco. Also, so we are planning two pipelines, to Europe.
“There is a lot of excess capacity, but it will take time to build infrastructure. It will also take a while, there is no spare capacity we can immediately off-take to Europe now,” he said.