Nigeria, with reserves of over 180 trillion cubic feet of gas, is prepared to help meet the European Union's long term natural gas demands, Nigerian oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke said, according to a statement from her office Wednesday.
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Alison-Madueke held talks with Guenther Oettinger, the EU Energy Commissioner, on the sidelines of EU-OPEC Energy Dialogue Ministerial Meeting in Brussels, on how Nigeria could help ensure the EU's long-term security and diversification of gas supplies, the statement said.
"The discussions focused on the role Nigeria can play in supporting the EU's energy sector priorities," Alison-Madueke was quoted saying.
"The Federal Government restated its resolve to support the long term gas supply security for the European Union countries as part of measures to expand the nation's gas market," the minister said.
According to Alison-Madueke, Nigeria has over 180 Tcf of discovered gas reserves and up to 600 Tcf of undiscovered gas reserves, is currently the eighth largest gas producer in the world and sixth largest gas supplier to Europe.
Nigeria is planning significant investments to increase gas production and export capacity, particularly with the completion of new LNG projects, the minister said.
Europe is witnessing rising demand for natural gas following new projects, while at the same time the EU is aiming to reduce its energy dependence on Russia as a result of the Ukraine crisis.
Nigeria currently produces around 8.24 Bcf/day of gas and exports around 22 million tonnes of gas produced at the Bonny LNG plant.
The statement quoted Oettinger saying that the EU recognized the long-term potential of Nigeria's energy sector and would welcome further discussions to explore ways for greater collaboration between the EU and Nigeria.