The Libyan Government of National Unity has agreed to transport Nigerian gas to Europe through its territory.
According to Libyan Oil and Gas Minister Mohammed Aoun explained that the distance between Nigeria’s gas wells and European markets is at least 1,000 kilometres shorter than the two gas pipeline projects passing through Algeria and Morocco, thus reducing the cost of transport and therefore the gas prices.
However, Libya faces many challenges to achieve this project; security, financial, technological and market aspects. It is also working against the clock as Europe aims for carbon neutrality by 2050.
The first announcement of the intention to establish a project for a pipeline to transport Nigeria’s gas through Libya was made in June. At that time, the spokesman for the Libyan Government of National Unity, Mohammed Hammouda, revealed in a press conference that the government “has permitted the Ministry of Oil and Gas, to conduct technical and economic studies for the feasibility of establishing a gas pipeline project from Nigeria passing Niger or Chad to Europe via Libya.”
On 25 September, Libyan Oil and Gas Minister Mohammed Aoun announced that the study had been submitted to government. The preliminary study decided that the pipeline should cross from Niger instead of Chad. An in-depth study was to be conducted within six months.
Exploratory discussions on the feasibility of this project commenced between Libya and Nigeria on the margins of the African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO) meeting in September.
Once the Ajaokuta–Kaduna–Kano (AKK) pipeline in Nigeria is completed, it can be connected to the Green Stream pipeline starting from the Wafa field, 500 kilometres southwest of the Libyan capital Tripoli, on the border with Algeria.
In a statement, Aoun affirmed the possibility that Libya may need to import gas from Nigeria, this is in spite of the fact Libya is a gas-exporting country and has huge gas reserves. Tribal leaders in Libya have repeatedly closed oil and gas fields, halting production.