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    Nigeria, Morocco sign MoU on gas pipe

Summary

NNPC is preparing to build the first compressor station on Nigerian soil for the proposed 5,600-km conduit, a potential game changer for Nigerian upstream.

by: Callum Cyrus

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Complimentary, Natural Gas & LNG News, Africa, News By Country, Morocco, Nigeria

Nigeria, Morocco sign MoU on gas pipe

Nigeria's NNPC announced September 15 that an MoU had been signed to allow development of the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project, which could facilitate exports to Europe.

The MoU was agreed by Morocco's National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mining and Mines and Nigeria's NNPC together with the Economic Community of West African States, a trade bloc that includes Nigeria.

The 3bn ft3/d project would cross a dozen West African markets including Nigeria before terminating in Morocco, at a total length of 5,600 km.

The Nigeria-Morocco pipeline has been on the table for several years. The two sides have said previously it could take 25 years to deliver and billions of dollars in investment. At present, much of Nigeria's gas export is absorbed by the NNPC/Shell-backed Nigeria LNG export facility.

Nigerian upstream fields produced around 52bn m3 in 2020, according to Statistica, and the country posesses Africa's largest proven gas reserves, thought to hold 139.4 trillion ft3 recoverable. But to unlock this potential it needs significant investment, while the industry downturn last decade laid waste to many of its key infrastructure plans. Perennial domestic risks, including oil theft and militant violence, have not helped matters.

Renewed impetus for the Nigeria-Morocco pipeline has emerged as of recent, given the bullish global gas market since last year, and Europe's need for non-Russian supplies. NNPC envisages a connection to European markets that could be achieved by linking Nigeria-Morocco to the Maghreb European Pipeline, from Algeria to Spain.

Signing the MoU on behalf of Nigeria, NNPC's CEO Mele Kyari praised the commitment of the two signatory governments and argued the pipeline would result in wealth creation across west African communities. 

NNPC is now preparing to procure land in Nigeria for the pipeline's first compressor station. The route is expected to start in Nigeria's Brass Island and would terminate in northern Morocco, allowing for a future connection to the Maghreb pipeline.