Rabat demands steps to build “Morocco” gas pipeline

Rabat / Anadoll

Morocco is looking for natural gas resources
The project has reached the initial stage of engineering design
New environmental and social impact studies will be announced soon

Nigeria and Morocco are accelerating the pace of the inauguration of the project to build a pipeline connecting the two countries, which will stretch to a length of about 5,660 km, to meet the growing demand for energy in Europe.

The pipeline will be built in several phases, to meet the growing needs of the countries through which it will pass.

This comes at a time when Morocco is seeking natural gas resources and cash revenues from energy transit partnerships after Algeria suspended a pipeline transporting gas to Europe through it in 2021.

Morocco was receiving transit tariffs for Algerian gas, in addition to a portion of the gas to meet domestic consumption needs, before Algeria decided at the end of last October not to renew the contract for the supply of gas to Spain through the pipeline.

But Nigeria was the focus of another alliance dating back to the beginning of the current millennium, envisioning the inauguration of a line connecting it with Algeria to transport gas to Europe, within the framework of what is known as the “Trans-Saharan Pipeline”. .

This pipeline, which runs – according to plans – from the jungles of Africa to the old continent, starts from Lagos, Nigeria, through Niger and reaches Algeria, at a distance of 4600 kilometers.

Algerian oil company Sonatrach (government) signed the first memorandum of understanding for the implementation of the project with the Nigerian state oil company in 2002, to extend the pipeline.

The initial cost of the project, with the signing of the memorandum of understanding between Algeria and Nigeria, was estimated at $ 13 billion to transport 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year.

And last September, Nigerian Energy Minister Timimbri Silva revealed that his country’s government “has begun implementing the construction of a pipeline to transport gas to Algeria, which in turn, at a later stage, will transport it that in European countries “.

** Morocco and the regional model

On Wednesday, June 8, Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said the Nigerian pipeline project “constitutes a model for regional integration that will change the features of Atlantic Africa”.

Speaking at a news conference with his Nigerian counterpart Geoffrey Onyeama, Bourita said the Nigerian pipeline project “is making progress and will be a model for regional integration and change the features of the Atlantic and Atlantic Africa”.

The agreement is due to the creation of the gas pipeline project connecting Morocco and Nigeria, during the state visit conducted by Moroccan King Mohammed VI to Nigeria in December 2016.

Although no government document mentions the duration of the project completion, models of gas pipeline supply between Russia and Europe indicate that the Nigerian-Moroccan project may need an average of 3 years of implementation.

** Agreement with “Sidiao”

In early June, Nigeria ratified the entry of the National Oil Corporation into an agreement with the Economic Community of West African States (Cediao) to build a gas pipeline between Nigeria and Morocco.

This came in a statement by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timbrie Silva, following a meeting of the Nigerian Federal Executive Council (Cabinet).

Silva said the project has reached the initial stage of engineering design, adding: “The pipeline will transport gas through several countries in West Africa, Morocco and through it to Spain and Europe.”

The pipeline will cross Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Senegal and Mauritania.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS or CEDAW), established on 25 May 1975, includes 15 West African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea and Guinea. -Bissau. , Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo.

** The right direction

On May 5, the Moroccan government, through its spokesman Mustafa Baitas, said the gas pipeline project connecting Nigeria and Morocco “is going in the right direction.”

Baitas added that “Engineering-related studies are in the process of being completed … There are new studies related to environmental and social impact that will be announced soon.”

On April 29, Morocco and the International Development Fund (OPEC) announced the signing of an agreement to fund part of the second part of the detailed tribal studies of the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project.

A statement from Morocco’s Ministry of Finance said at the time, “The Minister of Economy and Finance, through a correspondence exchange with Abdelhamid Khalifa, Director General of the Fund (OPEC) for International Development and Director General of the National Bureau of Hydrocarbons and Minerals , Omnia Benkhadra, signed a legal document regarding the financing in the amount of 14.3 million dollars. “

** International Market

The Nigerian pipeline project constitutes a vital energy artery that awaits Europe, as well as Morocco, to ensure its energy security, at a time when it was announced that it had officially entered the international natural gas market.

Moroccan Energy Transition Minister Leila Benali said during a press conference in Rabat on April 14th that her country would start importing gas from the international market through the Maghreb-European pipeline.

Benali added, “We will use the natural gas supply infrastructure in Spain and Portugal to convert natural gas into liquefied natural gas.”

Morocco consumes about one billion cubic meters of gas a year.

** Increase investment

On January 5, Morocco began seeking bids to study a project to launch a liquefied natural gas ship terminal in the northern port of Muhammadiyah.

According to the (government) Moroccan Ports Agency, the cost of completing the study is 4 million dirhams ($ 401,000), without disclosing the amount set aside for the construction of a gas ship receiving station and a floating storage unit.

On March 16, Morocco announced the signing of a contract with the British company “Sound Energy”, for the supply of gas from the domestic field of Tandara to the pipeline “Maghreb-Europe”.

The British company estimates the field reserves at about 5 billion cubic meters of gas.

** Excavations continue

On April 13, Morocco said total investments in the country’s gas and oil exploration amounted to 28 billion 845 million dirhams ($ 2.94 billion), from 2000 to the end of 2021.

96 percent of Morocco gas and oil exploration investments are wholly funded by companies; Oil and gas exploration operations in Morocco during 2021 covered a total area of ​​about 283,000 square kilometers.

Nine exploitation licenses and 53 exploration licenses have been issued, including 26 in the offshore field and 3 exploration licenses, according to the Moroccan Minister of Energy.

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