The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund has announced that it will contribute $14.3 million to Phase II of the feasibility study for the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline estimated at $25 billion.
This is coming as the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has offset its cash call debts to International Oil Companies (IOCs) to the tune of $3.717 billion in the last six years, a new report by the national oil company has indicated.
However, as the NNPC is reducing the debts owed the IOCs, rising petrol subsidy claims incurred by the company have continued to take tolls on the economy with analysts projecting that it will raise Nigeria’s fiscal deficit to N10 trillion at the end of the year.
To be directly financed by the OPEC Fund for International Development (IFID), the intervention, OPEC said, is meant to support the Moroccan government’s national development strategy aimed at transitioning to a low-carbon energy system.
According to OPEC, it will further diversify the country’s energy mix and help it in achieving its renewable energy commitments.
The study will carry out detailed evaluations of the implementation and design process for the eventual construction of the gas pipeline, thus facilitating the final investment decision.
OPEC Fund’s contribution, the organisation added, will specifically co-finance the survey works for the North Area (Senegal – Mauritania – Morocco) of the NMGP.
Morocco and the OPEC Fund signed an agreement at the weekend to jointly fund the feasibility study ahead of the construction of the world’s longest offshore pipeline connecting Nigeria to Morocco.
The gas pipeline project would cover 7,000 kilometres through 13 West African countries, and extend to Europe, according to Worley, the company handling the current phase of the project.
It was further learnt that the London team of the Australian energy firm will deliver the onshore part of the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) study, including the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and Land Acquisition Studies (LAS), on the proposed pipeline from Nigeria to Morocco.
Morocco’s Economy and Finance Minister, Nadia Fettah, signed the agreement alongside the Director-General of the OPEC Fund, Abdulhamid Al khalifa, and Managing Director of Morocco’s National Office for Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONYHM), Amina Benkhadra.
Co-financed with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the study comprises a body of research on the execution of the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline, including the technical, financial, and legal aspects, a statement after the event indicated.