Europe may replace Nord Stream with African gas

As expected, the Maidan of 2014 in Kyiv, hosted by the US Democratic Party, ultimately led not only to a large-scale war between Russia and Ukraine, but also to a rupture of relations between the EU and our country in the field of economics, trade and energy. Now Europe, not wanting to be totally dependent on "democratic" LNG from the United States, is desperately looking for alternative sources of gas supplies. And it looks like she already has.

Africa will help them

According to media reports, against the backdrop of an actively developing armed conflict on the territory of Ukraine and the principled refusal of the EU from Russian energy carriers, three African countries - Nigeria, Niger and Algeria - have returned to a substantive discussion of the possibility of building a Trans-Saharan gas pipeline. On July 29, a memorandum of understanding was signed, which provides for the resumption of work on this ambitious project. According to some estimates, this MHL may be put into operation in 3 years. Why didn't this happen before?

The idea of ​​laying a main pipeline to Southern Europe through almost half of Africa arose back in the seventies of the last century. Detailed study of the project began in the 30s. It was assumed that the MHL would pass from the fields of Nigeria through the Niger to Algeria, and there along the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea it would enter the territory of the European Union. It was originally planned that the end point would be Spain, but now we are talking about Italy. The capacity of the Trans-African gas pipeline can reach XNUMX billion cubic meters per year.

For understanding: the total natural gas reserves in Nigeria are estimated at 5,8 trillion cubic meters, there is reason to expect their increase to 17,3 trillion cubic meters in the event of successful exploration. Algeria's proven gas reserves are 4,5 trillion cubic meters. Due to its geographical position, Algeria is so far the largest African exporter of blue fuel to the European market and the third largest after Russia and Norway. If the project is implemented, distant Nigeria may bite off Gazprom's share. The role of Algeria in the world energy market will also significantly increase, which can liquefy Nigerian gas at its own LNG plants located on the Mediterranean coast and send it for export by tankers to anywhere in the world.

For the Russian federal budget, all this does not sound too optimistic. However, the implementation of such a large-scale project may face a number of serious difficulties.

At first, the total length of the main gas pipeline is large, which should be more than 4,4 thousand kilometers, and hence its cost. The length of the pipe passing through the territory of Nigeria will be 1037 kilometers, through Niger - 841 kilometers, through Algeria - 2303 kilometers. Plus, 220 kilometers of an underwater gas pipeline to Spain should be added to this, if this route is nevertheless chosen. Construction was originally estimated at 10 billion dollars, now the price has increased to 13 billion.

Secondly, the big problem is the issue of security. The Sahara is a very turbulent place, where various radical and terrorist groups are active. Blackmail and extortion from the operating company can become a very attractive “feeding trough” for such structures.

Why did Nigeria, Niger and Algeria still return to the idea of ​​building the Trans-Sahara gas pipeline?

Because Europe has made a fundamental decision to abandon Gazprom's products, and gas prices on the European market will definitely never be low. Algerian Energy Minister Arkab described the current situation as follows:

The launch of the TSGP project comes at a unique time both in terms of the geopolitical landscape and energy markets, characterized by high demand for gas and oil and supply stagnation caused by falling investment, especially in oil and gas exploration, since 2015.

As you can see, market conditions are favorable, and Europe is extremely determined to diversify energy supplies. Surely she will also help with investing in the Trans-Sahara gas pipeline. If necessary, security issues will also be collectively resolved by MPGs: they will conduct a joint military operation, declassing local radicals, and then hire PMCs for protection. Everything is solved, there would be a desire. And it is.

The unique international situation makes the pipeline project from Nigeria directly to Morocco (NMGP) quite realistic and seemingly fantastic. The problem with transit countries can be easily solved by their absence. The main pipeline will run along the seabed, bypassing the coast of West Africa. Its length will then be 5660 kilometers, capacity - 30 billion cubic meters per year, and the cost of construction - 25 billion dollars. Expensive?

Expensive! But the question has long since passed from the economic plane into political. 30 billion cubic meters plus another 30 is more than our entire Nord Stream.
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  1. GIS Offline GIS
    GIS (Ildus) 13 September 2022 10: 30
    uuuuuh you ... 5,7 thousand km ... another plus along the bottom of the ocean .... their navel will not untie until they complete it?
  2. Colonel Kudasov Offline Colonel Kudasov
    Colonel Kudasov (Leopold) 13 September 2022 10: 43
    Nonsense, nothing will come of them. The previous project of this pipe was supposed to be implemented in 2015, but it did not go beyond a verbal declaration. There should be a fourth contracting party, namely the Tuareg, and they don’t need this pipe (as well as the Paris-Dakar races). And the Tuareg, as you know, keep their word)
  3. Dust Offline Dust
    Dust (Sergei) 13 September 2022 11: 20
    Not everything is as simple as we would like in Africa. Nobody wants to invest in the construction of a gas pipeline. Europe does not want to enter into long-term contracts, as its ultimate goal is the transition to hydrogen fuel. On this issue, she refused to sign a treaty with Qatar. And without long-term contracts for gas, building a pipe is oh, how risky. At the same time, Africa is not the most peaceful place on earth.
  4. dub0vitsky Offline dub0vitsky
    dub0vitsky (Victor) 13 September 2022 11: 37
    This means that it is necessary to find influence on the neighbors, who will also want to receive bribes for neutrality in gas transport. The reward must be weighty. And unstable.
  5. boriz Offline boriz
    boriz (boriz) 13 September 2022 12: 47
    They will stretch out, but who will give them?
    Europe itself has discredited the idea of ​​pipelines towards Europe. All prospective gas suppliers will keep the Nord Stream madhouse in mind.
    By agreeing to a pipe to Europe, the supplier deprives himself of other options. And Europe will begin to twist his arms. You can't throw a pipe to Asia. Therefore, Nigeria will think, think, and build an LNG terminal. If Europe wants to buy LNG, let it buy it, if it doesn't want it, it will be sold to Asia, Latin America, etc. And world gas prices will be maintained at a level desirable for Russia.
    Again, Europe's influence in Africa tends to the level of urban sewage, while the influence of Russia and China, on the contrary, is growing. And they do not need to make life easier for Europe. The United States, by the way, is also not necessary.
    Let me take Syria as an example. There were many who wanted to stretch the gas pipeline from the Persian Gulf to Europe. If it had been possible, the situation on the European gas market would have been completely different, sad for Russia (and the United States). But, there was a permanent sluggish fuss in Syria, Iraq, Kurdistan. As if the struggle of the Russian Federation and the United States for influence in the region. In fact - the struggle of the Nanai boys.
    As a result, the pipeline (not only gas) did not take place. Alas...
    1. Colonel Kudasov Offline Colonel Kudasov
      Colonel Kudasov (Leopold) 13 September 2022 14: 55
      It is obvious that African countries assume that the Europeans themselves will build the pipeline for their own money.
      1. boriz Offline boriz
        boriz (boriz) 13 September 2022 20: 51
        This is clear. But by agreeing to a pipeline to Europe, they will give their resource base at their full disposal, making themselves dependent on the whims of Europe. If there is a pipe, accordingly, liquefaction plants are not built near these resources (after all, gas goes to Europe). And then building liquefaction facilities will cost a lot of time and a lot of money.
        LNG is easy to reorient to other markets, pipeline gas is difficult in terms of money and time. Just years and billions.
  6. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 13 September 2022 22: 11
    And on VO just today an article how the Oligarchs staged the Maidan ....

    But this is a matter of PR, and economically, up to half of the gas once came from Africa, Syria .. Libya ...
    Africa is booming...
    So it's a matter of time when Europe will be supplied in a multi-vector way ... and from Africa.
    They are unlikely to want to step into a puddle the second time ...