Amb. Tuggar calls for synergy between Nigeria, Qatar to foster gas diplomacy

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By Joy Odor

The Minister of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tuggar has called for synergy between Nigeria and Qatar to foster gas diplomacy, energy transition from non-renewable energy and highlighted the key benefits of Nigeria-Qatari relations for Africa and global gas sectors.

This is even as the Minister posited that Qatar and Nigeria are blessed with hydrocarbon deposits that place them at the center of the new energy equation.

He made the call while delivering a lecture at the Doha Diplomatic Institute on February 29th, 2024, on the sidelines of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s State visit to the State of Qatar.

Amb. Tuggar also said while Qatar has the third largest gas reserves in the world and Nigeria is best known as Africa’s largest oil producer, he enthused that Nigeria is a gas province, with a bit of oil.

“We are sitting on reserves of 208TCF. We use our reserves to develop our economies – and are confident that we can also develop partnerships that will support the process of transition.” The Minister added.

Amb. Tuggar further stated that it is incumbent on gas-rich countries like Qatar and Nigeria to make a case for gas as a cleaner alternative and transition fuel fit for human use while also adding that “Nigeria requires a partner such as Qatar that shares a similar epistemology of gas as a resource for human utility to develop its gas assets further and expand market share for the benefit of both countries.”

The Nigerian Ambassador also enthused that “Nigeria can help Europe and other industrial economies to diversify their sources of energy supply.

In turn, a more stable market creates more stable prices, and a more stable platform for economic growth, improved living standards and new opportunities.”

The Minister equally posited that Nigeria currently has a 6-train LNG with a nameplate capacity of 22MTPA, an 8MTPA 7th train underway, as well as an 8th train planned for the near future.

Nigeria also has two additional LNG projects that have reached advanced planning stages; Olokola (OK LNG) and Brass LNG. Opportunities for quick Floating LNG projects also abound.

But even before that, 150km from Nigeria lies Equatorial Guinea’s Bioko Island LNG, fresh out of gas supplies and ready to take in feedstock from Nigeria.

He opined that beyond the LNG, “Nigeria has two major gas pipeline projects with the potential of delivering gas to Europe currently underway- The Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline through Algeria can potentially deliver a conservative 2 billion scf/d while the 7,000km Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline seeks to join the Maghreb-European Pipeline (MEP) with a capacity of 30 billion cubic metres/day.”

He went further to say that All of these projects provide huge opportunities for Qatar to partner with Nigeria to enter into new markets for gas in Africa and beyond. “Qatar possesses the requisite big-ticket experience in negotiating complex international business deals as well as the interlocutory mediation skills for the diplomacy required to pull off a Nigeria-Morocco pipeline, where over 15 countries would be involved.

The kind of political and economic partnership that is needed to develop such a complex project can be the foundation for a new diplomatic order in the region.

A partnership that further brings us together and can provide new incentives to mitigate or minimize some of the challenges that we have faced, for example in recent months over the faltering of democracy in parts of the region.

Qatar as a neutral investor and participant in such a project could catalyse a rapprochement and translate to a win-win situation for all parties involved.” He stated.

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