Nigeria, Algeria and Niger sign MoU for Saharan gas pipeline worth $13 billion

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ALGIERS, July 28 – Algeria, Nigeria and Niger have signed a memorandum of understanding to build a natural gas pipeline across the Sahara desert, Algeria’s energy minister Mohamed Arkab said on Thursday.

The three countries have set up a task force for the project and designated an entity to update the feasibility study, said Niger’s oil ministry in a statement on Wednesday, following a two-day meeting in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.

The Trans-Saharan gas pipeline is an estimated $13 billion project that could send up to 30 billion cubic metres a year of supplies to Europe.

The idea was first proposed more than 40 years ago and an agreement signed between the countries in 2009, but progress stalled.

The revival comes at a strategic time, as the European Union seeks to wean itself off Russian gas following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and is seeking alternative sources.

“(The pipeline) should allow Europe to diversify its sources of natural gas supply but also allow several African states to access this high value energy source,” said the statement.

With a length of 4,128 kilometres (2,565 miles), the pipeline would start in Warri, Nigeria, and end in Hassi R’Mel, Algeria, where it would connect to existing pipelines that run to Europe.
Arkab told reporters after the signing ceremony that the three countries will continue talks to achieve the project as quickly as possible.

The Trans-Saharan gas pipeline is an estimated $13 billion project that could send up to 30 billion cubic metres a year of supplies to Europe.

According to Algeria’s Ennahar TV, the pipeline is expected to span around 4,000 kilometers. It has been slated to start in Warri, Nigeria, and to end in Hassi R’Mel, Algeria, where it would connect to existing pipelines that run to Europe.

The idea was first proposed more than 40 years ago and an agreement signed between the countries in 2009, but progress stalled.

Algeria exported 54 billion cubic meters of gas in 2021, mainly to Italy and Spain.