Nigeria, Algeria, and Niger Republic have entered into a pact to build a 4,000-kilometerrme Trans-Saharan gas pipeline that will traverse the three African countries across the Sahara Desert to Europe.

Observers believe that the new gas pipeline is induced by the current crave for Nigeria’s gas by Europe following the difficulties faced by European Union in securing Russian gas.

The agreement for the $13 billion (€12.75 billion) pipeline, which was signed on July 28, 2022, followed an earlier agreement in June 2022 among the three African countries on reviving the gas pipeline project, said to have been under kept in view for over four decades.

The current agreement which was signed in Algiers involved the Algerian minister of energy and mines, Mohamed Arkab; Nigerian minister of state for petroleum resources, Timipre Sylva; and the Nigerien minister of energy and renewable energy, Mahamane Sani Mahamadou.

It is estimated that once completed, the project would transport up to 30 billion cubic metres (1 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas per annum from Warri in Nigeria through Niger and Algeria on to Europe.

It will be recalled that in 2009, an accord was signed by Nigeria, Niger and Algeria to build the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline project, with a plan to commission it in 2015. Officials said the project was however delayed due to security concerns in the Sahel region and tensions between the governments in Algiers and Niamey.

The project’s revival is coming after Algeria and Niger reopened their mutual border, and at a time when the European Union (EU) is grappling with the supply of natural gas and looking for alternative sources, following the launch of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier this week EU member states agreed to reduce gas consumption as concerns grow that Russia might cut off already decreasing deliveries.

The EU President, Ursula von der Leyen, had said the deal to reduce gas use was about preventing the Kremlin from being able to blackmail the EU with gas deliveries.

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