Thursday, June 26, 2014

Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Resources meets with EU Energy Commissioner

Diezani Alison-Madueke

Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Resources meets with EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger

- Discussions took place during 11th EU-OPEC Energy Dialogue Ministerial Meeting in Brussels -

-  Diezani Alison-Madueke highlights role Nigeria can play in supporting long-term gas supply security for the EU -

- Mrs Alison-Madueke also gives keynote address at the event, highlighting the strong relationship between OPEC and EU countries -

On the side of today’s 11th EU-OPEC Energy Dialogue Ministerial Meeting taking place in Brussels, Belgium, Diezani Alison-Madueke, the Honorable Minister for Petroleum Resources for Nigeria and Alternate President of the OPEC Conference, held discussions with Günther Oettinger, the EU Energy Commissioner.

The discussions focused on the role Nigeria can play in supporting the EU’s energy sector priorities, and particularly the long-term security and diversification of gas supplies. Alison-Madueke highlighted that gas production has increased to over 8 billion cubic feet per day, and Nigeria is the eighth largest gas producer in the world, and sixth largest gas supplier to Europe.

Alison-Madueke emphasized that furthermore, Nigeria has over 180 Tcf of discovered reserves and up to 600 Tcf of undiscovered gas reserves, so significant investment is planned to support expansion of the sector over the coming years. While increasing domestic power generation is a priority for the government, export capacity will also rapidly grow, particularly as new LNG projects are completed.
Oettinger said that he recognizes the long-term potential of Nigeria’s energy sector and would welcome further discussions to explore ways for greater collaboration between the EU and Nigeria.

Speaking following the discussions, Diezani Alison-Madueke commented: “With significant investment planned and growing reserves and production, Nigeria has the capacity to become a major long-term partner for the EU in ensuring security of energy supply. It was an extremely productive meeting with Oettinger, and I look forward to continuing to work with him to build an even stronger relationship between Nigeria and the EU.”

Earlier in the day, Alison-Madueke gave a keynote address at the ministerial meeting, in her role as Alternate President of the OPEC Conference, during which she highlighted the strength of the trade and energy relationship between OPEC and EU countries. She noted that OPEC countries supply the EU with over thirty per cent of annual oil consumption and nearly twenty per cent of annual gas demand. In turn, the EU is playing a vital role in supporting the development of renewable energy technology to support the long-term diversification of primary energy sources.

She continued by highlighting the role of OPEC in ensuring stability, transparency and predictability in the international oil markets, which is essential as the global economies recover and strengthen. She stated that longer term, OPEC member countries will continue to play an essential role, and it is anticipated that they will provide as much as 11 Mbpd out of the anticipated 18 Mbpd of additional oil required to meet the expected worldwide demand growth by 2035.

In order to maintain growth and investment, Alison-Madueke emphasized the importance of maintaining reforms in emerging economies. She noted that one such reform in Nigeria is the Petroleum Industry Bill, currently before Nigeria’s National Assembly, which will change the face of the country’s petroleum operations and ensure they remain in line with international standards and best practices. She noted that reform in the energy sector will support the longer-term economic priorities of Africa’s largest economy, with significant investment planned in infrastructure, power generation, industry and agriculture, as well as in health and education services. This approach is similar to other OPEC member countries, which are actively pursuing economic diversification strategies.

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