Spotting an opportunity: Nigeria exploits anti-Moscow sentiment as oil giant offers to replace Russian gas in UK and Europe
Nigeria has said it is ready and prepared to provide the UK and Europe with much more gas than it currently does in order to offer an alternative to Russian gas, according to a government minister.
Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, told various media cross Africa his country is ready to offer its services as an alternative gas supplier to Britain and Europe.
Sylva urged the European Union to increase investments in gas and hydrocarbon in Nigeria so the country will be able to meet Europe’s energy needs.
In a statement, Sylva said the EU and UK should urge its oil and gas companies – such as Shell, BP, Eni, and Total – to scale up investments in the Nigerian gas sector.
“One of the things we warned against earlier was the speed with which EU was taking away investments in fossil fuels. We warned that the speed was faster than they were developing renewable energy. You can see now that what we were warning against is what is happening now,” he wrote.
What currently stunts growth in the development and exploitation of gas in Nigeria is a severe lack of fresh investments, Sylva continued, calling for “a change of attitude” on the part of the EU if its requests to increase supplies to Europe would be realised.
“In the last 10 years, over $70bn worth of investments came to Africa, but sadly less than $4bn came to Nigeria. Surprisingly, we are the biggest in Africa. If we cannot attract investments to Nigeria, you know where we are heading.”
“You have been our longtime friend. As of today, our gas reserve is one of the biggest in the world. We have a proven gas reserve of 206 tcf and if we focus on gas exploitation we can get up to 600 tcf,” Sylva said.
He pointed out that “we are already building gas infrastructure such as the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline project, expected to take gas to Algeria, and the West Africa Gas Pipeline project designed to take gas to Morocco.”
Nigeria is reportedly keen to reduce its dependence on China. Currently, around 90 per cent of all its gas exports go to China.