Ivory Coast seeks crude, gas supplies from Nigeria

The West African state of Ivory Coast has asked Nigeria to supply it with 20,000-30,000 b/d of crude oil. Ivory Coast is also seeking help in obtaining natural gas to feed its power plants.

The West African state of Ivory Coast has asked Nigeria to supply it with 20,000-30,000 b/d of crude oil. Ivory Coast is also seeking help in obtaining natural gas to feed its power plants.

Ivory Coast Minister of Energy and Mines Toure Mousa, heading a government delegation visiting Abuja last week, told Jackson Gaius-Obaseki, group managing director of the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. (NNPC), Wednesday that his country would like to cooperate with Nigeria in the area of gas-fired electricity plants.

Mousa stressed that Ivory Coast and many other West African countries would need to rely on gas from Nigeria to power their electricity plants. He said the West African sub-region should form a power pool, so that countries well-endowed with gas reserves could supply the feedstock for electricity plants across the region.

Mousa also said there is a need for Nigeria to revisit his country's refineries for possible cooperation between the two countries in this area.

Responding, Gaius-Obaseki said Nigeria would be willing to sell crude to Ivory Coast, but added that the country would have to follow newly laid procedures for lifting Nigeria's crude.

He agreed that the countries of West Africa should cooperate and achieve economic integration through the use of resources available in the area.

"Nigeria's oil industry drifted with the country during the heady days of military rule. During the drift, Nigeria imported petroleum products from Ivory Coast, while its vacuum gas oil and naphtha were exported to Ivory Coast free of charge and at the expense of Nigeria," Gaius-Obaseki noted.

"We are now back on track with the return to democracy, and we are determined to create a loop from where we drifted so as to make progress."

The NNPC head enjoined Ivory Coast to join in the $400 million West African Gas Pipeline project as an equity holder and take advantage of the abundant gas reserves in Nigeria to power its electricity plants. He also urged Ivory Coast to join Nigeria in impressing on countries like Ghana, which are currently using crude oil to power their electricity plants, that it was like committing economic suicide because using crude oil is more expensive than using gas.

The West African Gas Pipeline project is designed to sell some of the 126 tcf of gas reserves in Nigeria to neighboring Benin, Togo, and Ghana to power their electricity plants.

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