OPEC And Morocco Sign Nigeria Pipeline Financing

OPEC And Morocco Sign Nigeria Pipeline Financing.

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund has announced that it will contribute $14.3 million to Phase II of the feasibility study for the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline estimated at $25 billion.

This is coming as the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has offset its cash call debts to International Oil Companies (IOCs) to the tune of $3.717 billion in the last six years, a new report by the national oil company has indicated.

However, as the NNPC is reducing the debts owed the IOCs, rising petrol subsidy claims incurred by the company have continued to take tolls on the economy with analysts projecting that it will raise Nigeria’s fiscal deficit to N10 trillion at the end of the year.

To be directly financed by the OPEC Fund for International Development (IFID), the intervention, OPEC said, is meant to support the Moroccan government’s national development strategy aimed at transitioning to a low-carbon energy system.

According to OPEC, it will further diversify the country’s energy mix and help it in achieving its renewable energy commitments.

The study will carry out detailed evaluations of the implementation and design process for the eventual construction of the gas pipeline, thus facilitating the final investment decision.

OPEC Fund’s contribution, the organisation added, will specifically co-finance the survey works for the North Area (Senegal – Mauritania – Morocco) of the NMGP.

Ijaw News gathered that Morocco and the OPEC Fund signed an agreement at the weekend to jointly fund the feasibility study ahead of the construction of the world’s longest offshore pipeline connecting Nigeria to Morocco.

The gas pipeline project would cover 7,000 kilometres through 13 West African countries, and extend to Europe, according to Worley, the company handling the current phase of the project.

It was further learnt that the London team of the Australian energy firm will deliver the onshore part of the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) study, including the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and Land Acquisition Studies (LAS), on the proposed pipeline from Nigeria to Morocco.

Morocco’s Economy and Finance Minister, Nadia Fettah, signed the agreement alongside the Director-General of the OPEC Fund, Abdulhamid Al khalifa, and Managing Director of Morocco’s National Office for Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONYHM), Amina Benkhadra.

Co-financed with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the study comprises a body of research on the execution of the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline, including the technical, financial, and legal aspects, a statement after the event indicated.

Launched through a joint initiative in 2017, the pipeline is set to boost local economies’ competitiveness by providing secure access to an energy source and aims to deliver gas from Nigeria to Europe as well as supply countries along the way. In December 2021, Morocco and Nigeria signed an agreement to fund the FEED after the project was approved by the IDB.

Morocco and Nigeria agreed to provide joint funding for the mega project. The FEED study is projected to cost $90.1 million in total.

President Muhammadu Buhari had in 2021, held a phone call with Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, where the Nigerian leader expressed his country’s determination to bring the pipeline online as soon as possible, according to a report by Morocco World News.

Based on the 25-year estimate given in 2017, the construction of the $25 billion projects is expected to be completed by 2046.

The pipeline would connect Nigerian gas to every coastal country in West Africa (Benin, Togo, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Senegal, and Mauritania), ending at Tangiers, Morocco, and Cádiz, Spain.

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