Trans-Saharan gas pipeline

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Trans-Saharan gas pipeline
Location of Trans-Saharan gas pipeline (in red)
Location of Trans-Saharan gas pipeline (in red)
CountryNigeria, Niger, Algeria
General directionsouth-north
FromWarri, Nigeria
ToHassi R'Mel, Algeria
General information
Typenatural gas
PartnersSonatrach, NNPC, Government of Niger
Commissioned2015 (estimated)
Technical information
Length4,128 km (2,565 mi)
Maximum discharge30 billion cubic meters per year

The Trans-Saharan gas pipeline (TSGP; also known as NIGAL pipeline and Trans-African gas pipeline) is a planned natural gas pipeline from Nigeria to Algeria. It is seen as an opportunity to diversify the European Union's gas supplies.[1]


The idea of the trans-Saharan pipeline was first proposed in the 1970s.[1] On 14 January 2002, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Algerian national oil and gas company Sonatrach signed the Memorandum of Understanding for preparations of the project.[2] In June 2005, NNPC and Sonatrach signed a contract with Penspen Limited for a feasibility study of the project.[3] The feasibility study was completed in September 2006, and it found the pipeline to be technically and economically feasible and reliable.[4]

On the meeting on 20 February 2009, NNPC and Sonatrach agreed to proceed with the draft Memorandum of Understanding between three governments and the joint venture agreement.[5] The intergovernmental agreement on the pipeline was signed by energy ministers of Nigeria, Niger and Algeria on 3 July 2009 in Abuja.[1][6][7]

Safety concerns about the operations have been heightened due to a terrorist insurgency in North Africa, culminating in incidents like the In Aménas hostage crisis of 2013. Nigeria, Niger and Algeria are among the least secure areas in the region because of various active terrorist movements that destabilise them.[8]

On 28 July 2022, The Algerian, Nigerian and Nigerien Ministers of Energy signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the implementation of the Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline (TSGP) project, co-signed by Algerian Minister of Energy and Mines, Mohamed Arkab, Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva and Nigerien Minister of Energy and Renewable Energy, Mahamane Sani Mahamadou [fr], at the end of the work of the third tripartite ministerial meeting held in Algiers.[9]


The pipeline will start in the Warri region in Nigeria and run north through Niger to Hassi R'Mel in Algeria.[10] In Hassi R'Mel the pipeline will connect to the existing Trans-Mediterranean, Maghreb–Europe, Medgaz and Galsi pipelines.[5] These supply Europe from the gas transmission hubs at El Kala and Beni Saf on Algeria's Mediterranean coast. The length of the pipeline would be 4,128 kilometres (2,565 mi):[1] 1,037 kilometres (644 mi) in Nigeria, 841 kilometres (523 mi) in Niger, and 2,310 kilometres (1,440 mi) in Algeria.[3]

Technical features[edit]

The annual capacity of the pipeline would be up to 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas.[1][5] It would have a diameter of 48 to 56 inches (1,220 to 1,420 mm).[5][10] The pipeline was originally expected to be operational by 2015.[1][11] The original investment for the pipeline was expected to be around US$10 billion and for gas gathering centers around $3 billion.[1][10][11][12] [13] In the year 2019 the project is still in the prospect phase [14]


The pipeline is to be built and operated by the partnership between the NNPC and Sonatrach. The company would include also the Republic of Niger.[3] Initially NNPC and Sonatrach would hold a total 90% of shares, while Niger would hold 10%.[15]

Russian gas company Gazprom has negotiated with Nigeria about its possible participation in the project.[16][17] Also Indian company GAIL, France's Total S.A., Italy's Eni SpA and Royal Dutch Shell have expressed interest in participating in the project.[1][13][18] According to the Algerian energy minister Chakib Khelil "only partners that can bring something to the project, not just money, should be there."[15] Energy ministers of Algeria and Nigeria have said that "if things go well, there will be no need to bring international oil companies into the project" and "if the need for partnership in the project arises, not every partner will be welcome on board on the project."[19]

Opposition to the pipeline[edit]

The pipeline is opposed by the Nigerian militant group Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta. A spokesman for the group warned that until issues regarding the exploitation of the Niger Delta and its people have been resolved, "any money put into the project will go down the drain."[20][21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Fabi, Randy (3 July 2009). "Nigeria, Algeria agree to build Sahara gas link". Reuters. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  2. ^ "Nigeria and Algeria begin study of $ 6 bn Trans-Saharan gas pipeline". This Day. Alexander's Gas & Oil Connections. 16 May 2005. Retrieved 29 July 2007.
  3. ^ a b c Binniyat, Luka (10 March 2008). "14tcf of gas reserved for Trans-Sahara gas pipeline". Vanguard. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  4. ^ "Study proves technical, economic feasibility of Trans-Saharan gas pipeline". 20 September 2006. Retrieved 4 July 2009.
  5. ^ a b c d Awhotu, Ese (20 February 2009). "Nigerian, Algerian Officials Discuss Saharan Gas Pipeline". Leadership. Downstream Today. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  6. ^ Okolo, Paul (3 July 2009). "Nigeria, Algeria, Niger Sign Accord on Gas Pipeline". Bloomberg. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  7. ^ "Sahara gas pipeline gets go-ahead". BBC News. 3 July 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  8. ^ "A look at North Africa: Algeria's troubles". Investvine. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  9. ^ Saci, Yasmine (28 July 2022). "TSGP: Algeria, Nigeria and Niger sign Memorandum of Understanding". Archived from the original on 29 July 2022. Retrieved 28 July 2022.
  10. ^ a b c "FACTBOX-Sonatrach and its gas partners". Reuters. 24 September 2007. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  11. ^ a b Awoniyi, Ola (3 July 2009). "Nigeria, Algeria, Niger seal $10 bln gas pipeline deal". AFP. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  12. ^ "Trans-Saharan gas pipeline to reach Europe in 2015". Business Intelligence Middle East. 22 February 2009. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  13. ^ a b Fabi, Randy (25 February 2009). "Total, Gazprom eye Sahara gas pipeline venture". Reuters. Retrieved 15 March 2009.
  14. ^ "Nigeria Gas". Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  15. ^ a b Webb, Simon (30 June 2009). "No deal yet on firms for Sahara gas pipeline-Khelil". Reuters. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  16. ^ Tumanjong, Emmanuel (31 March 2008). "Gazprom In Talks To Join Trans-Saharan Pipeline - Official". Downstream Today. Dow Jones Newswires. Retrieved 8 June 2008.
  17. ^ "Gazprom eyes Saharan pipe plans". Upstream Online. NHST Media Group. 16 April 2008. Retrieved 8 June 2008.
  18. ^ "Algeria ambassador urges for Indian embassy". Business Standard. 20 April 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  19. ^ Muhammad, Hamisu; Umar, Aisha (7 July 2009). "Trans-Saharan Gas Project 'Not For Sale' - Ministers". Downstream Today. Retrieved 8 July 2009.
  20. ^ "Mend claims attack on Shell installation". Radio France Internationale. 5 July 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2010.
  21. ^ Watkins, Eric (7 July 2009). "Nigerian militants threaten proposed Trans-Sahara gas line". Oil & Gas Journal. PennWell Corporation. 107. Retrieved 8 July 2009.

External links[edit]