Europe Reaches Out to Nigeria to Wean Off Russian Gas

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Europe Reaches Out to Nigeria to Wean Off Russian Gas

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Nigeria on the Map (© Shutterstock/hyotographics)
Nigeria on the Map (© Shutterstock/hyotographics)

The European Union is courting its first African liquefied natural gas supplier as it tries to reduce its reliance on gas imports from Russia.

On Monday, April 11, 2022, Samuela Isopi, the EU ambassador to Nigeria, accompanied by Spain, Portugal, Italy, and France ambassadors, visited the headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) and met with the management seeking to strike a deal to tap the country's gas supplies.

Last year, Russia was the third-largest supplier of liquefied petroleum gas to Europe after the US and Qatar. According to a tweet by the NNPC, the European envoys to Nigeria sought to strengthen their partnership and cooperation in the energy sector.

In a statement, the NNPC spokesperson said that the group managing director assured the European envoy that the energy company would continue deepening its relationship with the EU companies in Nigeria. The spokesman further mentioned that the company would increase its efforts to increase the gas supply in the global market.

Since Russia and Ukraine entered into the conflict in early February, Europe has been seeking to diversify its energy sources by turning toward different African partners in an effort to shift from Russian energy dependence completely.

Nigeria and Algeria are the biggest African liquefied petroleum gas suppliers to Europe. Through its Premier Mario Draghi, Italy secured a deal with Algeria across a Mediterranean pipeline to step up the natural gas imports on Monday, April 11, 2022.

Algeria supplies 21 billion cubic meters of natural gas through the Trans-Mediterranean pipeline.
According to Draghi, there is a need to intensify the energy sector's bilateral cooperation as Europe seeks to wean off Russian gas, one of the major sources of Moscow's revenue.

Currently, Russia is the biggest supplier of natural gas in Italy, representing 40% of the total gas used in the country.

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