Expert wants Nigeria, Qatar to take advantage of EU gas market

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By Ella Anokam

An Associate Professor, Olanrewaju Aladeitan has urged other gas producing countries to take advantage of the vacuum created by the non-supply of oil to Europe by Russia and expand their gas projects to penetrate the European market.

“This is where countries like Qatar and Nigeria come in,” Aladeitan, an oil and gas expert said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday.

Aladeitan, an Associate Professor of Energy and Natural Resources, University of Abuja said the major off-taker of Nigerian gas was in Europe and there were on-going viable projects to actualise that.

On issues bordering the Russian-Ukraine war and the strategic position of Russian Gazprom, the strategic producer and supplier of gas, he said the crisis left some shortfalls in continental Europe, the UK and NATO allies.

“Now ordinarily, it is elementary business logic that vacuum created by the non-supply of oil by Russia should be taken advantage of by any other gas producer and this is where countries like Qatar comes in.

“So North Europe is looking at where to readily get supply to make up for the shortfall or non-supply from Russia.

“So, definitely, there is an implication, there is an effect of the Russian special operation or invasion on Ukraine on gas supply.

“Now gas countries, of which Nigeria is one and a country like Qatar are willing to take advantage of that opportunity of course, because there is a demand.

“But how do you take advantage of that particular gap that has been left as a result of the decision of Gasprom to withdraw supply from that region,” he asked.

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On Nigeria’s preparedness to catch in on that opportunity, he said Nigeria would have been prepared if it had done what it needed to do as far back as the 1970s, or even in the early 1990s and 2000.

He said that these periods were when the whole idea of the Trans-Sahara Gas Pipeline (TSGP) project was mooted and revisited again which would have aided penetration to the EU market.

“If we had done that then, by now we would be smiling to the bank because we would have utilised the opportunity of market that was left by the withdrawal of Russia,” he said.

He said Nigeria took deliberate action, starting with the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) company in developing the gas sector.

This he said was in a bid to cut down on gas flare, and also to take advantage of the economic potential of the gas reserves in the country.

He said the major off-taker of Nigerian gas was in Europe, but how to reach there, and derive the utmost benefit, had also been of concern to the country.

According to him, it is why the idea of the TSGP project has always been there as piping the gas all the way through will cost less because the cost of transportation through the vessel is something else.

“So if we can achieve the same aim through the Trans-Sahara pipeline, it will be fine.

“We also have the West African Gas Pipeline, which passes through Benin Republic, Togo to Ghana, and that has also been in the works for some time.

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“This is what has informed Nigeria looking at constructing these pipelines to Europe and the gas can flow from there,” he said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Ese E. Eniola

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