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The European Union (EU) is looking to purchase additional gas from Nigeria to replace Russian gas in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, reported Reuters, citing the European Commission’s energy department deputy director general Matthew Baldwin.

The EU currently sources nearly 14% of its total liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies from Nigeria. This capacity could be more than doubled, Baldwin said.

At meetings held last week with officials from Nigeria, Baldwin was told that the African oil producer was witnessing improved security in the Niger Delta.

The African country’s oil and gas production capacity is being throttled by pipeline theft and vandalism. As a result, the Nigeria LNG terminal located at Bonny Island, in the Niger Delta, is being operated at 60% capacity.

Nigeria NLG is jointly owned by state-oil company NNPC, TotalEnergies, Shell, and Eni.

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By GlobalData

Nigeria is also planning to re-open the Trans Niger pipeline after August 2022. Once reopened, the pipeline is expected to enable additional gas exports to Europe, according to the news agency.

Baldwin said: “If we can get up to beyond 80%, at that point, there might be additional LNG that could be available for spot cargoes to come to Europe.”

In 2021, Nigeria reported 23 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas exports to the EU.

Last year, KBR was selected by UTM Offshore to facilitate the development of Nigeria’s first-ever floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility.

UTM Offshore is leading the development of the 1.2Mtpa FLNG facility.

Last week, the European Union announced its decision to ease sanctions on Russian state-owned companies, including Rosneft and Gazprom, to transport oil to third countries to limit the global energy security risks.

The EU said in a statement: “With a view to avoiding any potential negative consequences for food and energy security around the world, the EU decided to extend the exemption from the prohibition to engage in transactions with certain state-owned entities as regards transactions for agricultural products and the transport of oil to third countries.”