*NNPC, Moroccan partners engage IOCs on gas project
Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, has highlighted the many benefits of the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline (NMGP) Project, saying that the project would open new vistas for Nigeria’s gas aspirations.
Kyari disclosed this at a stakeholders’ engagement between the Corporation, its Moroccan partner on the Gas Project, the Morocco National Office for Hydrocarbons & Mines (ONHYM), and the executives of international oil companies operating in Nigeria, at the NNPC Towers on Tuesday.
The meeting was sequel to high-level discussions on the Pipeline Cooperation Agreement (PCA) for the NMGP project signed between both countries during separate visits by their leaders, President Muhammadu Buhari and King Hassan VI, respectively.
The PCA will particularly facilitate the establishment of a gas pipeline to supply the product from Nigeria to Morocco and the West African sub-region and further into Europe.
At the moment, both countries are planning to extend the pipeline that has been pumping gas from Nigeria to Benin, Togo and Ghana since 2010 to Morocco.
Speaking shortly after the engagement with the representatives of the multinationals, Kyari described the project as strategic for the country, adding that the project would provide market for Nigerian gas.
“We have a lot of stranded gas particularly in the deepwater that we need to put on the table. This project will enable us have more gas into our domestic gas so that we can improve power supply and gas to industry,” Kyari stated.
He explained that along the pipeline’s corridor all the way to Morocco and into Europe, there was a huge potential for development of the West African subcontinent and part of North Africa.
“By doing this, we are also growing the economies of these countries along this pipeline and eventually ensuring peace and security which are necessary for the economic growth of these countries,” he added.
Kyari, who restated government’s commitment to the project, also reassured the IOCs that issues around fiscal terms were being handled. He also enjoined them to be part of the project as a matter of responsibility.
Earlier in her remarks, the Director General of the ONHYM, Amina Benkhadra, assured NNPC of the Moroccan government’s total support towards the project, stressing that the IOCs needed to be brought up to speed on the project as they are critical to it.