Regional rivals Morocco and Algeria are engaged in two competing gasoline pipeline megaprojects linking them to Nigeria, concentrating on the European market, however in a context the place the EU want to do with out gasoline by the tip of the last decade.
The latest is the Nigeria-Morocco Gasoline Pipeline (NMGP), roughly 6,000 km lengthy, which ought to cross 13 African nations on the Atlantic seaboard to move billions of cubic meters of Nigerian gasoline to the Cherifian kingdom. From there, it have to be linked to the Maghreb Europe Gasoline Pipeline (GME).
No begin date for building has been set: “The pipeline is being deliberate. We’re on the feasibility research stage,” Nigerian Oil Minister Timipre Sylva informed AFP.
The concept for the mission was launched in 2016 by King Mohammed VI throughout a go to to Abuja, aimed toward strengthening partnerships with African nations.
Its revival is defined by the choice of Algiers – Africa’s main exporter of pure gasoline – to terminate final 12 months the GME contract supplying Spain with Algerian gasoline by way of Morocco, after the rupture of diplomatic relations with Rabat.
These dissensions had been motivated specifically by the thorny file of Western Sahara – territory on which Rabat claims its sovereignty whereas Algiers helps the separatists of the Polisario Entrance – disadvantaged Morocco of the Algerian gasoline which it took for granted of passage.
Past that, the NMGP is a part of a geopolitical context marked by hovering hydrocarbon costs because the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
The implementation of this large gasoline pipeline – at an estimated value of 23 billion euros – stays nevertheless conditional on “acquiring the settlement of the nations by means of which it is going to cross”, recalled the Nigerian Minister of Oil.
On the finish of 2022, Rabat and Abuja signed seven memorandums of understanding with Gambia, Guinea -Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Mauritania, and Senegal, and one other with the Financial Neighborhood of Jap European States. West Africa (ECOWAS).
Agreements that “affirm the dedication of the events on this strategic mission”, welcomed the Moroccan Workplace of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM).
Rabat is banking on Nigeria’s monumental reserves to create “a steady, predictable and mutually worthwhile gasoline market” in Africa, Moroccan geopolitics researcher Jamal Machrouh informed AFP, additionally stressing its “strategic curiosity for Europe”.
However questions are rising when Brussels says it needs to eliminate fossil fuels within the medium time period.
“Now we have to depend when it (the gasoline pipeline) is completed. Are we nonetheless going to need to use gasoline, methane?”, puzzled just lately in Rabat the top of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, stressing that Morocco has a powerful potential in clear energies corresponding to hydrogen, wind, and photo voltaic.
The acceleration of cooperation between Rabat and Abuja coincides with the relaunch of the Trans-Saharan Gasoline Pipeline (TSGP) to hyperlink Nigeria to Algeria by way of Niger, at a value estimated at between 12 and 18 billion euros. Final July, Algiers, Abuja, and Niamey signed a memorandum of understanding to materialize this 4,128 km lengthy gasoline pipeline, with out setting a start-up date.
Launched in 2009, the mission additionally goals to move Nigerian gasoline to the European continent. As soon as it has arrived in Algeria, it must be shipped there, specifically by way of the Transmed gasoline pipeline which already hyperlinks the Algerian deposits to Italy by way of Tunisia.
“Technical research are in progress,” Algerian Vitality Minister Mohamed Arkab stated on February 18 in Algiers. In accordance with the Algerian skilled Ahmed Tartar, the three companions are actually “in search of donors”.
“We are able to estimate a delay of two to three years for the finalization of the mission” which “will meet a big a part of the longer term wants of Europe”, assures AFP Mr. Tartar, whose nation is the third provider of pure gasoline for Europe.
Optimism tempered by analyst Geoff Porter who underlines “its nice vulnerability to jihadist assaults” within the Sahelian zone and to the hostility “of native communities if they’ve the sensation of being exploited for a mission from which they derive no profit “.
One other draw back: Europe, which is searching for to free itself from Russian gasoline, couldn’t settle for “a powerful dependence on a single provider”, whether or not Algerian or Moroccan, in accordance with Moroccan researcher Machrouh.
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