EU Reinforces Ties with Nigeria to Bridge Russia-Induced Gas Supply Gap

•Says country exported 9.4bcm of LNG to Europe in 2022

•Mshelbila: Nigeria’s Decade of Gas Policy will support global energy security

Peter Uzoho

The European Union (EU) has indicated the imperative of reinforcing its diplomatic relationship with its reliable Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) partners like Nigeria in the short-term to enable it bridge the gas supply gas in the continent that resulted from the Russia-Ukraine War.

The EU’s Commissioner for Energy in Nigeria, Ms. Kadri Simson, gave the hint at the weekend, when she led a delegation on a visit to the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited’s plant on Bonny Island, Rivers State.

The commissioner revealed that Nigeria exported 9.4 billion cubic meters (bcm) of LNG to Europe in 2022.

This was just as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NLNG, Dr. Philip Mshelbila, stated that Nigeria’s Decade of Gas Policy would support global energy security.

In a statement issued yesterday by NLNG’s Acting Manager, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Yemi Adeyemi, Simpson, whose delegation took a tour of the company’s Central Control Room (CCR), the plant complex and the Train 7 construction site, stated that there was potential to improve Nigeria’s gas supply to Europe between now and 2027.

She specifically said: “EU is accelerating its energy transition, but we also have a need to reinforce our ties with reliable LNG partners like Nigeria in the short-term horizon.

“This helps us to bridge part of the gap left by former Russian imports while we gradually transition away from fossil fuels. Nigeria has proven to be a reliable partner, and last year, 9.4 bcm of LNG was exported from Nigeria to the E.U. But there is potential to do more – in particular between now and 2027.”

The EU Commissioner for Energy in Nigeria, however, commended NLNG’s business model upon receiving the necessary presentation by the company.

Speaking earlier in his presentation, Mshelbila, told his visitors that Nigeria’s ambitious Decade of Gas plan was the most comprehensive plan to restore efforts to fully harness Nigeria’s vast gas resources.

He added that the decade-long plan, which runs from 2021 to 2030, would also ensure a reliable global supply of gas as a clean energy source and a major fuel in the energy transition mix.

Briefing the delegation on NLNG’s operations and business, Mshelbila pointed out that there were plans to address the root causes of issues in the gas sector, adding that what was needed to complete the plan was the firm will of all stakeholders and urgent action.

He stated that the remedy to industry challenges was in concentrated effort on making the gas sector work, saying the country has huge potential as the sixth nation with the largest natural gas reserves.

“Our commitment to harnessing the immense potential of natural gas will not only restore Nigeria’s reputation as a major energy powerhouse but also propel us towards a cleaner, greener future.

“With innovation, collaboration by stakeholders, including the government and investors, especially from Europe, and unwavering determination, we can shape the energy landscape of tomorrow, create more opportunities for gas supply globally, drive economic prosperity, create jobs, and mitigate environmental challenges through gas,” he said.

Mshelbila, further highlighted that investment in Nigeria’s gas sector would wield a far-reaching influence on the global gas and LNG supply landscape, ensuring the world has continuous access to reliable and environmentally sound energy throughout the ongoing energy transition.

He notably stated that the ongoing Train 7 project was about 50 per cent complete and would bolster NLNG’s production capacity to 30 million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA) upon completion.

He added that NLNG was working on a plan to decarbonise, adding that the liquefaction company was also looking to the future for further expansion with more trains, which would act as catalysts for the continued advancement of the gas sector.

According to the statement, Mshelbila received the EU delegation alongside NLNG’s General Manager, Production, Nnamdi Anowi; General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, Andy Odeh, amongst other management staff.

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