Russia looks to invest billions in Nigeria energy sector
ABUJA, June 24 (Reuters) – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday investment in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector could total in the billions of dollars after Gazprom signed a joint venture agreement with state-run oil firm NNPC.
“If we carry out all our plans (in oil and gas), Russian investment in Nigeria can reach billions of dollars. I am talking about refineries and pipelines,” Medvedev said at news conference with Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua in the capital Abuja.
Nigeria has the world’s seventh largest proven gas reserves and the Gazprom deal could strengthen Russia’s position as a supplier of natural gas to North America and Europe.
Despite Nigeria’s vast gas reserves it has been unable to develop its gas industry anywhere near full potential because of a lack of funds and regulation.
Yar’Adua said the new Gazprom-NNPC venture would be allowed to participate in several Nigerian energy projects, including the development of the Trans Saharan gas pipeline. (Reporting by Oleg Shchedrov and Felix Onuah; Writing by Randy Fabi; Editing by Christian Wiessner) source
After Shell pipeline blast, MEND threatens Russia
Nigerian militant group MEND claims responsibility for blowing up an oil pipeline belonging to Royal Dutch Shell, warning Russia against investing in Nigeria.
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has issued a statement addressing visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
“This is the fate that awaits the gas pipelines you plan to invest in [in] Nigeria if justice is not factored in the whole process,” reads the MEND statement.
Russia’s major energy company, Gazprom, on Wednesday secured a $2.5 billion joint investment deal with Nigeria during Medvedev’s visit to Abuja.
The early Thursday morning attack on the oil facility was intended as a warning to the Russian president whose visit to Nigeria is partly directed at sealing an energy deal with the oil-rich African state — a deal that may lead to the vast reserves in Nigeria being linked to Europe via a Trans-Saharan pipeline.
The blast occurred on the Bille-Krakrama pipeline that feeds Shell’s Bonny export terminal located south of the Rivers State.
Shell spokeswoman Caroline Wittgen confirmed the attack on its pipelines in an interview with AFP. “The facility has been shut down and an emergency team has been mobilized to limit the environmental impact,” she said.
MEND has attacked oil pipelines in the Niger Delta on numerous occasions as part of its campaign to receive a larger share of Nigerian oil profits. source