Nigeria’s national oil and gas company, NNPC, has held talks with a South Korean consortium, which are expected to lead to a memorandum of understanding under which the East Asian nation will invest in Nigerian gas development. The consortium, led by Daewoo Engineering and Construction Co, met with a delegation led by Mele Kyari, chief executive of NNPC, in Seoul on 30 January.

NNPC stated in a press release after the meeting: “The talks were aimed at deepening NNPC Ltd.’s drive to tap into the nation’s vast gas resources to be a supplier of clean and affordable energy to the global market. South Korea is a major destination for Liquefied Natural Gas [LNG] exports and the consortium, in collaboration with the Korean Export-Import bank, has expressed interest in advancing discussions on investing in greenfield and other gas development opportunities.”

At last year’s Nigeria International Energy Summit, held in April, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission declared that the West African nation had 208.83 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves as of 1 January 2023. NNPC expects that foreign direct investment from South Korea will lead to an increase in LNG exports.

So far, Europe has been Nigeria’s largest export market for LNG, accounting for 423.8 billion cubic feet (bcf) of the nation’s total LNG exports in 2022. In the same year, Asia-Pacific received 197.8bcf of Nigerian LNG, with South Korea being the largest customer in that region, importing 28.3bcf.

Nigerian natural gas production has grown 0.3% annually in the decade to 2022, according to the 2023 edition of the Statistical Review of World Energy, formerly published by BP.

NNPC signed a deal last year with oil and gas company SDP Services to build a small-scale LNG project in Kogi State, central Nigeria, with 421 tonnes per day of capacity for the domestic LNG market.

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In July, NNPC signed another agreement with oil and gas company UTM Offshore for the construction of the nation’s first floating LNG project.