Nigeria and Spain have expressed commitment to strengthen bilateral relationship and partnership in investments and development of Nigerian gas resources for global energy market.
Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources made this known on Thursday in Abuja when he received Spanish Foreign Minister, Jose Albarese, in the company of other top officials and investors from Spain.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bilateral meeting between Nigeria and Spain dwelt on Spain’s investment on Security, technology and development of Nigerian gas resources.
According to the minister, Spain has been a partner and customer of the Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) company from inception.
Sylva, who describe Spain as one of the first countries to visit in 2023, said the visit could tell the importance of the relationship between the countries, adding that Nigeria required investments in the oil and gas sector, being the core of the economy.
He said the identified major investment companies and potential investors on the table, occasioned huge opportunities for Nigeria in view of the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) already pitched process of mini bid round.
“These are people that they would have ordinarily gone to meet in their country before any bid round, but in this case, the potential investors are here by themselves, so you can see why this meeting is very important.
“As a country, we need a lot of investments, we need Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Spain is one of the countries that we believe can give us a lot of that investment to help in development,” he said.
According to Sylva, Nigeria currently has proven gas reserves up to over 200 trillion cubic feet of gas, and with focus on the exploration for additional gas, Nigeria can increase these reserves to up to 600 TCF.
He further said that Europe also required gas currently, hence Nigerian energy transition programme should be more mindful of the development of gas as well, because there was the clamour from some sources to move so quickly to renewables.
“And as a country we felt that we are going to move on the transition train through the instrumentality of gas.
“Spain is in the position to also support us in this area of security because insecurity is one of the major problem facing the industry today. So we are going to be looking up to Spain.
“And then of course, Spain will also look up to us for further supply of gas. They are also interested in the pipeline that we are developing to Morocco. I believe that is going to settle the issue of vessel flight from Nigeria to Europe.
Albarese, earlier had commended Nigeria’s ability and expressed Spain’s interest to facilitate investment opportunities in oil and gas sector of the economy, adding that Nigeria was its first supplier of oil and gas.
The Spanish minister who was pleased with the revolution and opportunities in the sector as informed by Sylva, said the cooperation from the countries, especially from Spanish investors, would yield gains.
“Nigeria has been a strategic partner to Spain and has proven once again as a trusted partner in the complex setting of global energy market,” he said.
The meeting had in attendance, the Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Limited, Mallam Mele Kyari; Authority Chief Executive, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority, Mr Ahmed Farouk; Commission Chief Executive, NUPRC, Mr Gbenga Komolafe; Managing Director, NLNG, Mr Philip Mshelbila, among others.