Algeria, Nigeria, Niger inks deal for trans-Saharan gas pipeline project

Algeria, Nigeria, and Niger have inked a deal for a trans-Saharan gas pipeline project. Nigerian Minister of Energy and Mining Mohamed Arkab made the announcement and said they aim to carry out the plan as soon as possible.

The Algerian minister underscored that a meeting with Niger’s oil resources minister, Timipre Sylva, and its energy minister, Mahamane Sani Mahamadou, had led to the trilateral agreement to start technical studies for the project and to transform it into reality as soon as possible.

Mr. Arkab said they are set to continue talks through a technical team created during the meeting and to entrust the preparation of everything involved to it: from technical and financial studies to feasibility ones for the construction of the trans-Saharan gas pipeline.

The minister described the gas pipeline project as a new source of supply for European markets where demand is steadily rising. There are considerations to channel the gas from Nigeria to Europe through Niger and Algeria. The North African country has infrastructure ready for the transport of gas from the city of Tamanrasset in the far south to Spain and through Tunisia to Italy.

The Algerian oil company Sonatrach had in 2002 signed a Memorandum of Understanding with its Nigerian counterpart to build a gas pipeline that, starting from the oil fields in southern Nigeria, would cross Niger and arrive in Algeria. The initial cost of the project, at the time of the signing of the MoU between Algeria and Nigeria, had been estimated at US $13bn to transport 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year.

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