The Federal Government has intensified discussions with the Kingdom of Morocco, in their bid to fast-track the process of achieving the Final Investment Decision (FID) on the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline
The discussion which held on Wednesday, 24th January, 2024, on the side-lines of a meeting between the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo, and the Moroccan Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, Ms. Leila Benali, was anchored by the NNPC Ltd.’s Executive Vice President, Gas, Power & New Energy, Mr. Olalekan Ogunleye, and the Director General of the Morocco National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM), Mme Amina Benkhadra.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited which disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday, said the talks focused on how to drive the partnership between the two countries to accelerate the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline Project in line with the series of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) signed between the two countries in Abuja in 2022.
It stated that both parties emphasised the strategic importance of the project to the two countries and the entire African continent and the need to drive it to completion expeditiously in line to stem energy poverty on the African continent.
It would be recalled that the Cooperation Agreement for the 48” x 5,300Km pipeline from Nigeria to Dhakia (Morocco) and 1,700km from Dhakia to Northern Morocco was signed in 2017 with a capacity of 30 billion cubic meter (bcm) per year (equivalent of 3.0 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day).
The pipeline would traverse Republic of Benin, Togo, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania, and terminate in Morocco with a spur to Spain.
According to reports, four MoUs were signed and the tripartite agreements were signed between the NNPCL and the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines of Morocco on one hand, and the Société Nationale des Opérations Pétrolières of Cote d’Ivoire, the National Oil Company of Liberia, the Société Nationale des Hydrocarbures of Benin, and the Société Nationale des Pétroles of the Republic of Guinea on the other hand.
The MoUs were similar to those signed with ECOWAS on September 15, 2022, Mauritania and Senegal on October 15, 2022, and The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, and Ghana on December 5, 2022, reaffirmed the commitment of the parties to the strategic project.
Due to the international nature of the project, the ECOWAS Commission is saddled with the responsibility to, among other things, facilitate inter-governmental treaty and host government agreements, establishment of Pipeline Higher Authority, and alignment with AU, UN and other relevant international bodies.
The project, among other things, will help drive the monetisation of Nigeria’s gas resources, maintain NNPC Ltd.’s energy leadership in Africa, and promote economic and regional cooperation among African Countries.