Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline : Emirati financing irritates Algeria

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On Monday, the United Arab Emirates promised to contribute to the financing of the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline, in a joint declaration meant to boost bilateral cooperation between the two countries. The news, however, was not well received by Algerian media. «Many experts believe that this pipeline is not economically feasible and will face political obstacles. This project will never see the light of day», Algerian daily Echorouk argued.

«We expect the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project to lose its economic value once it passes through 11 countries. European countries will refuse gas transiting through the disputed territory of Western Sahara, which the United Nations considers a non-autonomous territory», the same source added.

This statement goes hand in hand with that of the Algerian Energy minister Mohamed Arkab. The latter said in June 2022 that the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline, a planned natural gas pipeline from Nigeria to Algeria, «is safer and economically viable». «While the other pipeline (Nigeria-Morocco), which will cross 12 countries over more than 6,000 km, part of which is in the Atlantic, is more complicated. Its financing is also unclear. On the other hand, Algeria has the means and is willing to finance a large part of the trans-Saharan gas pipeline», he told German magazine Der Spiegel.

Echorouk’s article on the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline, however, ignored the declarations of Nigerian officials. The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ekperikpe Ekpo, announced on November 27 in Abuja during a meeting with a Moroccan delegation that the construction of the gas pipeline will be launched in 2024.

A few months earlier, the CEO of the «Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation» (NNPC) had praised the same project. «The Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline is one of the most ambitious projects we have and is going to cost over $25billion, but more than anything, it is going to connect 11 West African countries to our gas sources; and that way, we will be creating prosperity around Nigeria», he said.

On Monday, the Declaration signed by Morocco and the UAE promised to study ways of financing the Morocco-Nigeria gas pipeline project.

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