According to Bloomberg, the European Union is to look to Africa for assistance in detaching itself from Russian natural gas. The trade bloc’s energy strategy was detailed in a cited document.
According to the source, the EU also wants to purchase more natural gas from the United States and Canada. Russia provides around 40% of Europe’s natural gas, but the continent is working to minimise its reliance.
According to a Nigerian presidential adviser, a number of gas pipeline projects linking Africa and Europe have been studied in recent years, and feasibility studies are currently underway to build the world’s longest offshore pipeline, which will transport natural gas from Nigeria to Morocco and Europe.
Russia however is also eyeing the possibility of this with a declared interest in the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline.
The European Commission stated in the document that countries in western Africa, such as Nigeria, Senegal, and Angola, have mainly underutilized liquefied natural gas potential.
Member states of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) also came to this conclusion in a convention in Doha, Qatar on February 22 , however “infrastructure is going to be critical” said H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines & Hydrocarbons, in an interview with the African Energy Chamber (AEC), connecting the region’s underutilized gas to lack of infrastructure to actualize them.
The need for Europe to turn to Africa for gas has beforehand been a well discussed theme among African Energy think tanks following the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and possibilities in the wake have been drafted out.
“The ongoing European energy trilemma and challenges provides a golden opportunity for African gas producers to develop a robust, bankable gas strategy to cater for motherland Africa and our European friends energy demand,” said Abdur-Rasheed Tunde Omidiya, President of the Africa Energy Chamber (AEC) Nigeria and West Africa.
The European Commission therefore stated in its proposed policy document that it wants to increase liquefied natural gas imports by 50 billion cubic metres and pipeline gas imports from countries other than Russia by 10 billion cubic metres.
This includes boosting US liquefied natural gas imports by 15 billion cubic metres in 2022, with annual US imports to Europe totaling roughly 50 billion cubic metres through 2030.
Furthermore, the commission noted in the statement that it intends to assist efforts to quadruple the Southern Gas Corridor’s existing capacity of 20 billion cubic metres per year, which delivers natural gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe.
According to Bloomberg, the EU also intends to increase liquefied natural gas exports through a trilateral agreement with Egypt and Israel.