European Union seeks more gas imports from Nigeria

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Following gas cuts by Russia, the European Union is looking to Nigeria as an alternative to augment its gas needs.

The Deputy Director-General of the European Commission’s Department of Energy, Matthew Baldwin, said Friday “Europe is in a tight spot in relation to gas following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and instability in our gas market, the threat perhaps to cut off supply altogether.”

Mr Baldwin, who visited Abuja, told journalists that the EU is looking to increase Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) imports from Nigeria to above the current levels.

Nigeria currently supplies 14 per cent of the EU’s gas imports, while 60 per cent of the entire shipments of LNG from Nigeria goes to Europe, he said.

“We want to expand what is currently at 14 per cent share of total LNG import from Nigeria, we want that to go up,” he said.

Mr Baldwin said that the gas relationship between Nigeria and the EU comes with extraordinary potentials with the latter determined to deliver on them.

The EU earlier this week launched a gas demand reduction plan, which encourages EU member states to reduce demand by 15 per cent.

“Gas is a vital transition fuel that we will need in the European Union in our pipes all the way through 2045 and beyond… there are ways we could work with you to improve the cleanliness of that gas through technologies,” Mr Baldwin said.

He added that the EU wants to expand their short-term deliveries from Nigeria LNG “but at the moment, the capacity, the utilisation rate of Nigeria LNG is too low.”

He said the focus for this week is to see if the commission could look at ways of working with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.

According to Mr Baldwin, his mission to Nigeria is one of fact finding, adding that the EU will help Nigeria deliver on its ambitious energy transition plan. Both parties will meet again in August for further discussions.

While visiting Nigeria, he met with the Minister of Power, Minister of State for Petroleum, Minister of Finance amongst others. Mr Baldwin also visited the Nigeria LNG.

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