European Union plans to court Africa to help replace gas imports

An image of two liquified natural gas tankers in port. /Ghana News

The European Union (EU) is stepping up efforts to wean itself from Russian natural gas by increasing imports of natural gas from African countries.

An image of a liquified natural gas tanker. /African business network

According to a draft EU document seen by Bloomberg News, the EU plans to increase liquified natural gas imports by 50 billion cubic meters and boost shipments of pipeline gas from countries other than Russia by 10 billion cubic meters.

Collectively, Nigeria, Algeria, Senegal, and Mozambique sit on close to 600 trillion cubic meters of natural gas. Nigeria is already the fourth biggest liquified natural gas supplier to Europe. There are several other countries in Africa with large gas reserves.

The EU also wants to work out a deal to secure 15 billion cubic meters of natural gas from the United States.  If the bloc’s plans come to fruition, the EU could reduce its dependence on Russian gas by nearly 67 percent in 2022.

The EU’s draft energy strategy also seeks to prepare the region for imports of 10 million tons of renewable hydrogen by 2030 to help replace gas from Russia, in line with the ambitious EU Green Deal to walk away from fossil fuels and reach climate neutrality by mid-century.

The EU is trying to shift away from Russian sources of gas in response to the current military action in Ukraine. It is also concerned about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demand to pay for the fuel in rubles.


Story compiled with assistance from wire reports