The Russia-Ukraine war is causing realignments in the energy market. With the EU’s traditional gas supplier, Russia, making good on her threats to restrict gas exports to unfriendly countries, the EU is scouting for new sources of the product, including Nigeria, according to NAN.
In the latest developments, the Deputy Director-General of the European Commission’s Department of Energy, Matthew Baldwin, visited Abuja during the week for exploratory talks with Nigerian authorities.
He told journalists that the EU is looking to increase Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) imports from Nigeria to above current levels.
As he put it, “Europe is in a tight spot in relation to gas following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and instability in our gas market, the threat perhaps to cut off supply altogether. We want to expand what is currently at 14 per cent share of total LNG import from Nigeria, we want that to go up,” he said.
Mr Baldwin said that the gas relationship between Nigeria and the EU comes with extraordinary potentials with the latter determined to deliver on them.
The EU earlier this week launched a gas demand reduction plan, which encourages EU member states to reduce demand by 15 per cent.
“Gas is a vital transition fuel that we will need in the European Union in our pipes all the way through 2045 and beyond… there are ways we could work with you to improve the cleanliness of that gas through technologies,” Mr Baldwin told Nigerian authorities.
He added that the EU wants to expand their short term deliveries from Nigeria LNG “but at the moment, the capacity, the utilisation rate of Nigeria LNG is too low.”
He said the focus for this week is to see if the commission could look at ways of working with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.
According to Mr Baldwin, his mission to Nigeria is one of fact finding, adding that the EU will help Nigeria deliver on its ambitious energy transition plan. Both parties will meet again in August for further discussions.
While visiting Nigeria, he met with the Minister of Power, Minister of State for Petroleum, Minister of Finance, and visited the Nigeria LNG.