Russia/Ukraine Crises: EU Seeks Gas Supply Partnership with Nigeria￼
The EU members led by the EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Samuela Isopi, paid a courtesy visit to the group managing director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari yesterday in Abuja.
The EU diplomats in the delegation include Ambassador of Portugal, Luis Barros; Ambassador of Spain, Juan Sell; Ambassador of Italy, Stefano De Leo and Deputy Head of Mission (France), Olivier Chatelais.
The EU ambassador in Nigeria, Samuela Isopi, who spoke on behalf of the group during the visit, said the EU seeks to strengthen its partnership with Nigeria in the energy sector. He said the partnership is necessitated by the current geopolitical developments in Europe.
“Nigeria is the fourth largest gas supplier to Europe. At least 40% of the Nigerian LNG is currently exported to Europe. We are not only major clients for Nigeria, we are also major partners in the oil and gas sector because some of the companies that are working with you are from Europe. So, we share the same interest and same objectives,” Mr. Isopi said.
Mele Kyari, NNPC’s chief executive officer, assured the European delegation that the company would continue to deepen its historical relationship with EU companies in Nigeria in order to add more value to its business, particularly toward increasing the gas supply to the global market and enhancing domestic gas utilization.
The EU, which gets a substantial percentage of its oil and gas from Russia, is seeking alternative sources of energy after Russia invaded Ukraine. Several EU states, the U.S. and some Asian countries have placed economic sanctions on Russia in retaliation.
Minister of state, petroleum, Mr. Sylva Timipre, said last December that Nigeria is currently working to grow its gas reserves from 206 trillion cubic feet to 600tcf.
Mr. Sylva said at the 23rd World Petroleum Congress in Houston that the increase would position Nigeria among the countries with the highest gas reserves in the world.
By Chibisi Ohakah and Sunday Elom