The Marathon-operated Equatorial Guinea LNG plant could receive natural gas from Nigeria’s offshore fields in the future as part of a new deal signed this week.
Timipre Sylva, Nigeria’s Minister of State of Petroleum Resources, and Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbon of Equatorial Guinea signed a memorandum of understanding during an energy event in Nigeria.
The African Energy Chamber said in a statement on Tuesday the memorandum would see Nigeria supplying gas from offshore fields to Equatorial Guinea’s LNG facility at Punta Europa.
According to AEC, the deal “marks a critical step in west Africa’s journey towards gas monetization and utilization, while ushering in a new era of regional collaboration.”
Backed by Nigeria’s ‘Decade of Gas’ initiative, which aims to transform the country into a gas economy through the development of sizeable gas-based projects, the deal integrates Nigeria’s sizeable offshore gas reserves with Equatorial Guinea’s gas processing and liquefaction infrastructure, it said.
“The chamber is urging both ministers to ensure the rapid implementation of the deal, recognizing the role this deal will play in positioning west Africa as a global gas hub,” NJ Ayuk, executive chairman of AEC said.
“Nigeria’s resources, coupled with Equatorial Guinea’s infrastructure and processing facilities, will enable gas to be commercialized, resources maximized, and new investment opportunities clarified in west Africa,” Ayuk said.
AEC did not provide any details of the memorandum.
New supplies would boost Punta Europa LNG plant
The 3.4 mtpa Equatorial Guinea LNG plant on Bioko Island has loaded over 700 tankers since 2007.
Besides operator Marathon, other shareholders in the LNG export facility include Marubeni, Mitsui & Co, and state-owned Sonagas.
Shell buys all of the volumes produced at the LNG plant under a long-term deal that ends in 2024.
New supplies from Nigeria would certainly give a boost to the facility. In 2019, Marathon and its partners signed agreements for third-party gas from the Alen project in order to extend the operational life of the liquefaction plant.
Last year, Chevron’s Noble Energy achieved first gas flow from the Alen project offshore Equatorial Guinea.
The Alen project facilitates the transport of gas from offshore production infrastructure to onshore facilities at Punta Europa, the Alba plant, and the LNG terminal.
It consists of a 70 km pipeline with a capacity of 950 million cubic feet of natural gas equivalent per day (MMcfe/d).