Written by 2:07 am European Union

A new deal with the European Union – New Telegraph

The European Union is seeking to increase its gas imports from Nigeria to above the current 14 per cent as a result of shortage in its gas supplies. Therefore, Nigeria is currently working to improve security in the Niger Delta in order to reopen the Trans Niger gas pipeline after August this year to yield more gas exports from the country’s Liquefied Natural Gas Company (LNG) at Finima, Bonny Island to Europe.

To achieve that goal, President Muhammadu Buhari’s government has awarded Mr. Government Ekpemupolo, better known as Tompolo, a pipeline surveillance contract reportedly worth over ₦4billion monthly. The former militant leader got a similar deal under the Goodluck Jonathan administration and tackled illegal bunkering then and production quota of the country increased to over two million barrels per day.

With the cancellation of the contract months after President Buhari assumed office, the country has continued to reportedly lose 500,000 barrels per day to illegal bunkering, making it impossible now for Nigeria to quickly increase its gas sales to the European Union.

The Deputy Director-General of the European Commission’s Department of Energy, Matthew Baldwin, while visiting Nigeria recently in search of a new gas deal with the country, said “Europe is in a tight spot in relation to gas … and instability in our gas market. Nigeria currently supplies 14 per cent of the EU’s gas imports, while 60 per cent of the entire shipment of LNG from Nigeria goes to Europe.

Baldwin pointed out that the gas relationship between Nigeria and the EU comes with extraordinary potentials and that the EU is determined to deliver on them.

Said he: “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.”

And he added that the EU wants to expand their short term deliveries from the Nigeria LNG, but claimed that in order to clinch his short-term deliveries deal that “at the moment, the capacity, the utilisation rate of Nigeria’s LNG is too low.”

The Federal Government must not succumb to the pressure to sell its gas on short term deliveries just because it needs immediate cash to meet the country’s current numerous problems.

Nigeria’s relations with EU in the sphere of LNG should be on long-term contracts without any strings attached, like democratisation, or approving Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBTI) rights demand. Gasification of Nigeria states is not of interest to the EU.

All they want is just to take our gas under conditions advantageous only to Europeans. Interestingly Qatar, one of the world’s top LNG exporters is reportedly planning to demand that EU nations sign long-term contracts only for delivery of gas to them. But the EU countries say they need a shorter duration to hit the region’s pollution reduction goals.

However, a recent German deal for a 20 year US LNG supply agreement has bolstered Qatar’s reserve to push through its demands. European nations led by Germany have been standing against Qatar’s pressure to lock them in for two decades of liquefied natural gas purchases even after the bloc aims to curb emissions.

If Qatar does not relent, it threatens Europe’s ability to diversify gas supplies from Russia as the Persian Gulf State may move to sign more pacts in other regions like Africa.


Besides Qatar and the US, few other LNG exporters are enormously boosting supply over the next decade. At the same time, European LNG demand is projected to increase through 2045. Nigeria needs now to lock-in its EU customers through long term contracts to underpin its enormous LNG expansion plan.

With seven operational units, “Nigeria will maintain its place in the global gas market, and NLNG will continue to support the development of our domestic LPG consumption through our commitment of 350 million tonnes to the domestic market” said Engineer Tony Attah, who recently retired as Managing Director and Chief Executive of NLNG. The country is now set to revive the over $22 billion abandoned Brass LNG in Bayelsa State to ramp up the production and supply of gas to meet current demand.

To gain from this current windfall, it would be preferable that African gas-producing countries formulate a unified approach to conclude LNG contracts with the European Union in a new economic deal between Africa and EU.


President Buhari called for this new deal early this year describing the existing agreements as “one sided and unfair,” adding that “the EU-Africa relationship must be shifted towards a new economic arrangement based on a partnership of equals.” Solako writes from Ibadan, Oyo State




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