Equatorial Guinea aims to be a mega gas processing center and are interested in importing raw gas from Nigeria and refining it at the Punta Europa plant, Malabo.
The Minister of Equatorial Guinea’s Mines and Hydrocarbons, Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, during the meeting recalled that there were already rapprochements between him and the Nigerian Minister of Petroleum Resources “but it was not to deal with this project”; so everything indicates that new meetings should take place.
“The Minister of Nigeria and I will have to make another memorandum exclusively for this project and we hope that by the first quarter of next year, we will be clear to establish this project,” said Mbaga Obiang Lima during the event.
“Your words have been very constructive, we will do our best to work together,” replied Eyesan, representative of the delegation of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the entity representing the Nigerian side in the negotiation.
Now with the first signs of interest towards Nigerian gas, other meetings will arise between both countries for the possible signing of another memorandum. However, the negotiating teams of both sides have already acted as an advance with this Malabo meeting.The initiative, stressed Mbaga Obiang, “arises to promote three axes as a basis: South-South cooperation, free trade and inter-trading between the Gulf countries.” While the negotiations progress, Mbaga Obiang urges the two teams to lay the groundwork to facilitate the acquisition of investors for the project. “It is necessary to be clear about what both parties want to make it clear to investors,” he said.
Large industrial space
Sources from the Ministry of Mines are confident in the industrial capacity of the Punta Europa treatment plant and therefore, assure that at the operational level it will not be a problem to bring Nigerian gas.
“We believe that we have first-class facilities in Punta Europa and it is a reality that we have additional capacity to be able to receive more gas from other sources. Nigeria is a country that has vast gas resources and what we are asking for are gas resources that are not committed in Nigeria and that can be monetized here in Equatorial Guinea, obviously because of the proximity of the border,” Oscar Garcia Berniko, Director General for State Petroleum Companies and Petroleum Assets said in an interview.
“Right now we have a space in Punta Europa that has the nominal capacity of 3.7 million tons of processing per year of natural gas processing. In about 2 years, it will have additional space and will be able to receive more gas.It is a space that has been maintained in an excellent way, it has a performance among the best in the world and it is an investment in which the State has an important part and we believe it is an opportunity to capitalize on it by adding more gas to be processed. ”
For the project of importing gas from Nigeria to Equatorial Guinea, maintains a source from the Equatoguinean ministry, “it would have the investment mainly of both countries and then of the partners of both”.
By Eleuterio Ekobo