Nigeria again pushing proposal for gas pipeline to Algeria

Nigeria aims to revive a long dormant project to build a gas trunkline linking the West African state to Algeria as part of plans to capitalize on gas reserves estimated to be as high as 200 tcf, according to Rilwanu Lukman, the country's presidential advisor on petroleum and energy. Lukman said Wednesday there was "renewed political commitment" among West African governments to the West African Gas Pipeline.


By an OGJ Correspondent

PARIS, Apr. 26 -- Nigeria aims to revive a long-dormant project to build a gas trunkline linking the West African state to Algeria as part of plans to capitalize on gas reserves estimated to be as high as 200 tcf, according to Rilwanu Lukman, the country's presidential advisor on petroleum and energy.

Speaking at the International Oil Summit in Paris Wednesday, Lukman said there was "renewed political commitment" among West African governments to the West African Gas Pipeline, given that gas had "clearly established itself as the fuel of the future."

He said the project, an "old idea" for which a feasibility study had been carried out some years ago, was now being updated.

Lukman, who recently returned from project meetings in Algeria, said implementation of the pipeline scheme was now at an "advanced stage with plans underway to ensure the expansion and full integration of the project with other countries in the region."

He added that a memorandum of understanding has been signed for feasibility studies to advance the Western Niger Delta LNG project, in order to fully develop the "enormous" gas potential available in Nigeria. Lukman said a third LNG project "might take shape" in cooperation with Phillips Petroleum Co. and Agip SPA.

Nigeria also aims to build its oil reserves to 40 billion bbl by 2010 through a campaign of "active expansion," said Lukman.

"Central to Nigeria's future role as a major player in the exploration and production of oil and gas is the government's objective of pursuing a deliberate policy of active expansion," he said. "Accordingly, Nigeria intends to increase reserves and production to 30 billion bbl and 3 billion b/d by 2003 and 40 billion bbl and 4 million b/d by 2010."

The key to Nigeria's oil plans is an "open and competitive period of licensing rounds," Lukman noted. "The success recorded in (last year's) round encouraged government to announce its intention to embark on the 2001 licensing round in the third quarter," he said.

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