Can The Trans Sahara Gas Pipeline fly?



It can fly now. But it had question marks. About 40 years ago government was debating either Trans-Sahara Gas Pipeline or setting up liquefied Natural Gas Plants (LNG). LNG won and the idea of transporting gas through pipeline to Europe faded, until when President Goodluck Jonathan came and the restarted discussion. But there were Brass LNG and  Olokola Liquefied  Natural Gas Project (OKLNG).  However, government/Deziani  Madueke, the then minister for Petroleum Resources, lost focus and none progressed.

Now with the Russian War, Europe will support firmly. Nigeria is Revenue challenged now. There is an incentive to focus. Funding will come with EU support

As for risk, new technology will protect the pipeline. In my time pipeline cover was a mere one meter, now they can go two meters deep or more. Surveillance technology has also improved.

Remember governments of Niger and Algeria will collect TRANSIT FEES of 5% from volumes sold through the pipeline. They have the incentive to protect the pipeline.

This pipeline will take off from Kano not Warri. Already the Ajokuta/Kaduna/Kano (AKK) pipeline has been awarded and being built. The gas will come from Oben/Obiafu/Obikom (OB3) pipeline.

Yes, there was another coastal pipeline proposed through many West African countries to Morrocco and on to Europe. Feasibility studies have been committed and this is funded by OPEC. It will take no less than five years to complete in my view.

Algerian, Nigerien and Nigerian Energy Ministers signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the construction of a 4,000 gas pipeline across the Sahara Desert that will supply Europe with additional gas, the Algerian news agency APS wrote.

The Trans-Saharan Gas-Pipeline (TSGP), should send billions of cubic meters of Nigerian gas to Algeria via Niger. Algeria will then send  the gas European countries it to the countries, via the Transmed which connects the country to Italy through Tunisia, and LNG (liquefied natural gas) transported by tankers.

The Algerian Minister of Energy and Mines, Mohamed Arkab, and his counterparts from Nigeria, Timipre Sylva, and Niger, Mahamane Sani Mahamadou, co-signed the memorandum of understanding in Algiers during a 3rd tripartite meeting. They first discussed aspects of the project including the status of progress, according to APS. For the moment, no indication has been given as to when the project will be completed.

When the project was launched in 2009, the investment cost of the Trans-Saharan Gas-Pipeline (TSGP) was estimated at 10 billion dollars. The pipeline spanning 4,128 km of which 1,037 km are in Nigeria, 841 km in Niger and 2,310 km in Algeria, will connect the gas fields of Nigeria, through Niger, to the Algerian border to connect to the Algerian network.

The TSGP will also allow on its way the supply of the regions of the Sahel countries. This project has been reactivated in a geopolitical context marked by strong international demand for gas and oil and a surge in prices, after the war in Ukraine erupted late February.

The North African country, whose proven natural gas reserves amount to nearly 2,400 billion m3, supplied around 11% of the gas consumed in Europe before the war in Ukraine, compared with 47% for Russia. It is the first African exporter of natural gas and the 7th in the world.

By Dr Godswill Ihetu


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