Russia-Ukraine war: Nigeria ready to step in as alternative gas supplier to Europe, says Sylva
Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, says Nigeria is ready to offer its services as an alternative gas supplier to Europe.
He urged the European Union (EU) to increase investments in gas and hydrocarbons in Nigeria to be able to meet the bloc’s energy needs.
NAN reports that Sylva spoke when he received a delegation led by Samuela Isopi, EU’s ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS.
The minister’s call comes on the heels of the festering war between Ukraine and Russia, which threatens gas supply to European countries
Russia currently supplies about 30 to 40 percent of the EU’s gas needs.
According to a statement issued on Saturday by Horatius Egua, his senior adviser on media and communications, Sylva asked the EU to encourage its oil and gas companies such as Shell, Eni, and Total Energies to scale up investments in the Nigerian gas sector.
“One of the things we warned against earlier was the speed with which the EU was taking away investments in fossil fuels,” he was quoted as saying.
“We warned that the speed was faster than they were developing renewable energy. You can see now that what we were warning against is what is happening now.”
He told the delegation that what stunted growth in the development of gas in Nigeria was fresh investments, and called for a change of attitude on the part of the EU if its requests to increase supplies to Europe would be realised.
According to the minister, one of the biggest challenges the sector faces is lack of investments.
“In the last 10 years, over 70 billion dollars worth of investments came to Africa, but sadly less than four billion dollars came to Nigeria,” Sylva said.
“Surprisingly, we are the biggest in Africa. If we cannot attract investments to Nigeria, you know where we are heading.
“You have been our long time friend. As at today, our gas reserve is one of the biggest in the world. We have a proven gas reserve of 206 tcf and if we really focus on gas exploitation we can get up to 600 tcf.
“We are already building gas infrastructure such as the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline project, expected to take gas to Algeria, and the West Africa Gas Pipeline project designed to take gas to Morroco.”
The minister said that due to the Russia-Ukraine war, the EU must have a buffer or an alternative source of gas.
To achieve this, he said a collaboration with Nigeria was paramount.
“We would like to be reliable partners to solve the energy problem in Europe and we can only achieve this by working together,” Sylva said.
“It is only when investment in these areas is increased that Nigeria can meet that obligation.”
In her remarks, Isopi urged Nigeria to take advantage of the opportunity offered by the present crisis to shore up gas supplies to Europe.
She also appealed to Nigeria to step into the gap in the supply chain as an alternative to Russia, adding that the country must not allow the opportunity to pass it by.