European Union wants more gas imports from Nigeria

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

The Deputy Director General of the European Commission’s Energy Department, Matthew Baldwin, said on Friday that “Europe is in a difficult situation regarding gas following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the instability of our gas market, the threat perhaps of completely cutting off the supply.”

Mr Baldwin, who visited Abuja, told reporters that the EU was considering increasing imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Nigeria above current levels.

Nigeria currently supplies 14% of EU gas imports, while 60% of all Nigeria’s LNG shipments go to Europe, he said.

“We want to expand what is currently 14% of the total share of LNG imports from Nigeria, we want that to increase,” he said.

Mr. Baldwin said that the gas relationship between Nigeria and the EU holds extraordinary potentials, with the latter determined to exploit them.

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

“Gas is a vital transition fuel that we will need in the European Union in our pipelines throughout 2045 and beyond…we could work with you to improve the cleanliness of this gas through technology,” Mr. Baldwin said.

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

He said the focus this week was to see if the commission could consider ways to work with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.

According to Baldwin, his mission to Nigeria is a fact-finding mission, adding that the EU will help Nigeria implement its ambitious energy transition plan. The two parties will meet again in August for further discussions.

During his visit to Nigeria, he met with the Minister of Energy, Minister of State for Petroleum, Minister of Finance among others. Mr. Baldwin also visited Nigeria LNG.

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