Bilateral : Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea seal pact to develop, monetise stranded natural gas

IN a effort to push towards deepening cleaner energy utilisation, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea on Tuesday signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding to supply gas from Nigerian offshore fields to the neighbouring Equatorial Guinea gas processing facility at Punta Europa.

The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources Mr Timipre Sylva, who signed the deal on behalf of the federal government explained that the MoU kicks off a strategic economic collaboration across the Gulf of Guinea wherein Nigeria’s abundant natural gas reserves compliments Equatorial Guinea’s world class gas processing and liquefaction infrastructure.

He maintained that the recent passage of the Petroleum Industry Act coupled with “Nigeria’s Decade of Gas” initiative ultimately created an enabling environment which has triggered conception of the project and facilitated major investment inflow from Equatorial Guinea into Nigeria.

The project, he added, also signals the joint effort of the two countries in working towards a greener energy world.

He said: “the execution of this MoU meets one of the imperatives of the “Decade of Gas” in Nigeria. Whilst we are focused on the domestic gas agenda, we are keeping an eye on the global gas market as well. Nigeria has huge gas resources, a significant amount of which is offshore and will require unprecedented investment in infrastructure to bring them to market. This collaboration allows much of that stranded gas to access the global gas market within 18 to 24 months in what will be the fastest timeline to market for a Nigerian offshore gas asset.

“This is possible because Equatorial Guinea brings to the table a major portfolio of world class gas processing and liquefaction infrastructure already in place in Punta Europa, coupled with investment funds for development. Additionally, the project which envisions an offshore gas pipeline development will also create huge in-country local content opportunities for pipeline and other infrastructure service providers. This is in addition to accelerated royalty revenues that come from producing many gas fields that would have otherwise remained stranded”..

Also commenting on the deal, Gabriel Nguema Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, stated that the execution of the MoU was a great example of the South-South cooperation between neighbouring Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea.

He added: “as the global geopolitics of natural gas evolves and within the context of the world transitioning to a lower carbon footprint, it is imperative that we think differently on how to remain an important player in energy markets. New, fast, and competitive sources will be a major determinant of success. “This strategic collaboration breaks down geographical boundaries and allows delivery of gas from Nigeria to Equatorial Guinea’s Punta Europa facilities, extending their life and providing access to the regional and global energy markets.

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