The European Union has been looking for new sources of natural gas after Russia annexed Crimea and cut off supplies to Ukraine. In response, the EU has turned to Africa, where there are large reserves of natural gas. African gas could be the answer to Europe’s energy woes. The continent has the potential to become a major supplier of natural gas to the EU, which is seeking to diversify its sources of energy.
Africa has the world’s largest reserves of natural gas, and several countries are now developing their gas industries. In particular, Mozambique and Nigeria have made significant discoveries of natural gas in recent years.
The EU is working closely with African countries to help them develop their gas industries. In particular, the EU is providing financial and technical assistance to help African countries build the infrastructure needed to extract and transport natural gas. Africa’s gas could be a game-changer for the EU, which is seeking to reduce its dependence on Russia.
A new liquefied natural gas project off Africa’s western coast may only be 80% complete, but already the prospect of a new energy supplier has drawn visits from the leaders of Poland and Germany.
The project, called “African Dream”, is a $4.5 billion joint venture between France’s Total and British energy giant BP. When completed, it will be one of the largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants in the world, with the capacity to produce 10 million tonnes of LNG per year.
The plant will be located in Ghana, a country with a long history of political stability and a track record of attracting foreign investment. It is also one of the few African countries to have a “long-term gas supply agreement” with the European Union.
The initial field near Senegal and Mauritania’s coastlines is expected to contain about 15 trillion cubic feet (425 billion cubic metres) of gas, five times more than what gas-dependent Germany used in all of 2019. But production isn’t expected to start until the end of next year. The giant estimate was reported by the U.S. Geological Survey on Thursday and is based on an analysis of seismic data. The USGS said the field has “the potential to become one of the world’s largest gas fields.”
The gas is trapped in layers of salt more than 2 miles (3 kilometres) below the seabed. It would be extracted using a process known as fracking, in which sand, water and chemicals are pumped deep underground at high pressure to break up the rock and release the gas.
That won’t help solve Europe’s energy crisis triggered by Russia’s war in Ukraine. Still, Gordon Birrell, an executive for project co-developer BP, says the development “could not be more timely” as Europe seeks to reduce its reliance on Russian natural gas to power factories, generate electricity and heat homes. The 1,200-kilometre (745-mile) pipeline will carry natural gas from the Caspian Sea to Turkey, crossing Azerbaijan, Georgia and Bulgaria before reaching Greece. From there, it will link up with additional pipelines to carry the gas to Central and Southern Europe.
Birrell said Wednesday the project is “on track” to begin carrying gas in late 2019 or early 2020.
Liquid gas, also known as natural gas, is a fossil fuel that is used to generate electricity, heat homes, and power industry. The United States is the world’s largest producer of natural gas, and the country has been a major player in the global energy market for years.
However, recent events have demonstrated the vital role that liquid gas can play in underpinning the energy security of nations and regions. In particular, the United States has been a major supplier of natural gas to countries in Europe and Asia, helping to meet their energy needs in a time of need.
Looking to the future, it is clear that liquid gas will continue to play a vital role in the global energy market. As countries around the world look to diversify their energy sources and secure their energy supply, liquid gas will be an important part of the equation.
Africa is a continent with a lot of untapped potential, especially when it comes to natural gas reserves. In recent years, there have been more and more initiatives to try and tap into these reserves and to use them to Africa’s advantage. One of the main obstacles to this has been a lack of infrastructure and security challenges. However, there are many African leaders who are trying to overcome these obstacles so that Africa can finally start to benefit from its vast natural resources.
Nigeria is a large country in Africa with a population of over 200 million people. The country has a lot of natural resources, including oil and gas. Nigeria is the largest producer of oil in Africa and has the largest reserves of natural gas in the continent. The oil and gas industry is a major contributor to the Nigerian economy. The country has been able to attract a lot of foreign investment in this sector. However, the sector has also been beset by a number of challenges. The Nigerian government is working to address these challenges and to ensure that the oil and gas sector continues to play a significant role in the country’s economy.
The European Union has been scrambling to secure alternative sources of natural gas as Moscow has reduced flows to EU countries, triggering soaring energy prices and growing expectations of a recession. The 27-nation EU, whose energy ministers are meeting this week to discuss a gas price cap, is bracing for the possibility of a complete Russian cutoff but has still managed to fill gas reserves to 90%.
European leaders have flocked to countries like Norway, Qatar, Azerbaijan and especially those in North Africa, where Algeria has a pipeline running to Italy and another to Spain, state media reported.
More than 60% of Egypt’s natural gas consumption still is used by power stations to keep the country running. Most of its LNG goes to Asian markets.
A new, three-party deal will see Israel send more gas to Europe via Egypt, which has facilities to liquefy it for export by sea. The EU says it will help the two countries increase gas production and exploration.
In Nigeria, ambitious plans have yet to yield results despite years of planning. The country exported less than 1% of its vast natural gas reserves last year.
A proposed 4,400-kilometre-long (2,734-mile-long) pipeline that would take Nigerian gas to Algeria through Niger has been stalled since 2009, mainly because of its estimated cost of $13 billion.
Many fear that even if completed, the Trans-Sahara Gas Pipeline would face security risks like Nigeria’s oil pipelines, which have come under frequent attacks from militants and vandals.
The same challenges would hinder increased gas exports to Europe, said Olufola Wusu, a Lagos-based oil and gas expert.
“If you look at the realities on ground — issues that have to do with crude oil theft — and others begin to question our ability to supply gas to Europe,” he said.
Wusu urged pursuing LNG, calling it the “most profitable” gas strategy so far.
Even that isn’t without issues: In July, the head of Nigeria LNG Limited, the country’s largest natural gas firm, said its plant was producing at just 68% of capacity, mainly because its operations and earnings have been stifled by oil theft.
In the south, Mozambique is slated to become a major exporter of LNG after significant deposits were found along its Indian Ocean coast in 2010. France’s TotalEnergies invested $20 billion and started work to extract gas that would be liquefied in a plant it was building in Palma, in the northern Cabo Delgado province.
But Islamic extremist violence forced TotalEnergies to indefinitely scupper the project last year. Mozambican officials have pledged to secure the Palma area to allow work to resume.
Italian firm Eni, meanwhile, pressed ahead with plans to pump and liquefy some of its gas deposits discovered in Mozambique in 2011 and 2014. Eni established a platform in the Indian Ocean 50 miles (80 kilometres) offshore, away from the violence in Cabo Delgado.
It’s the first floating LNG facility in the deep waters off Africa, Eni says, with gas liquefaction capacity of 3.4 million tons per year.
The platform liquefied its first gas on Oct. 2, according to Africa Energy, and the first shipment is expected to depart for Europe in mid-October.
The war in Ukraine has led to a European natural gas crisis. European leaders are now turning to Africa for a solution. This is a major opportunity for African countries to increase their exports and improve their economies.
There are numerous reserves of natural gas in Africa that have not been exploited. These reserves can now be developed to meet the needs of Europe. This will create jobs and wealth for African countries. It will also help to improve relations between Africa and Europe.