Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline

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This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor and the Center for Media and Democracy.

Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline is a proposed natural gas pipeline.[1] There have been no development updates since the project was first proposed in 2009, and it is now presumed to be cancelled.


The pipeline would run from Warri, Nigeria to Hassi R'Mel, Algeria.

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Project Details

  • Operator: Sonatrach, NNPC, Government of Niger
  • Parent Company: Sonatrach, NNPC, Government of Niger
  • Current capacity:
  • Proposed capacity: 30 billion cubic meters per year
  • Length: 2,565 miles / 4,128 km
  • Status: Proposed
  • Start Year: 2020[2]


The Trans-Saharan Pipeline was first proposed in the 1970s.[3] On 14 January 2002, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Algerian national oil and gas company Sonatrach signed a Memorandum of Understanding for preparations of the project.[4] In June 2005, NNPC and Sonatrach signed a contract with Penspen Limited for a feasibility study of the project.[5] The study was completed in September 2006, and it found the pipeline to be technically and economically feasible and reliable.[6]

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.[7] The intergovernmental agreement on the pipeline was signed by energy ministers of Nigeria, Niger and Algeria on 3 July 2009 in Abuja.[3][8][9]

Safety concerns about the operations were heightened after the In Amenas hostage crisis of 2013.[10]

There have been no development updates since the project was first proposed in 2009, and it is now presumed to be cancelled.

Rival Pipeline

In May 2017 an agreement was signed between Morocco and Nigeria to build the Atlantic Gas Pipeline, which would carry natural gas through six West African countries, up to Morocco and eventually to Europe.[11] Following the agreement Algeria's former Interior Minister and ex-Ambassador Abderrahmane Meziane Cherif declared that the Atlantic Pipeline Project had "buried the plan to achieve the Trans-Saharan Gas Project."[12]


The pipeline would start in the Warri region in Nigeria and run north through Niger to Hassi R'Mel in Algeria.[13] In Hassi R'Mel the pipeline would connect to the existing Trans-Mediterranean Pipeline, Maghreb–Europe Gas Pipeline, Medgaz and GALSI pipelines.[7] 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 km (2,565 mi):[3] 1037 km (644 mi) in Nigeria, 841 km (523 mi) in Niger, and 2,310 km (1,440 mi) in Algeria.[5]

Technical features

The annual capacity of the pipeline would be up to 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas.[3][7] It would have a diameter of 48 in. to 56 in. (1220 mm to 1420 mm).[7][13] The pipeline was expected to be operational by 2015.[3][14] Investment in the pipeline would be around US$10 billion and for gas gathering centers around $3 billion.[3][13][14][15] [16]


The pipeline was to be built and operated by the partnership between the NNPC and Sonatrach. The company would include also the Republic of Niger.[5] Initially NNPC and Sonatrach would own 90% of shares, while Niger would own 10%.[17]

Russian gas company Gazprom has negotiated with Nigeria about its possible participation in the project.[18][19] Also Indian company GAIL, France's Total S.A., Italy's Eni S.p.A, and Royal Dutch Shell have expressed interest in participating in the project.[3][16][20] According to the Algerian energy minister Chakib Khelil "only partners that can bring something to the project, not just money, should be there."[17] 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."[21]

Opposition to the pipeline

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."[22][23]

Articles and resources


  1. Trans-Saharan gas pipeline, Wikipedia, accessed February 2018
  2. Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline to Be Completed by 2020, Realnews, accessed May 2019
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Fabi, Randy (2009-07-03). "Nigeria, Algeria agree to build Sahara gas link". Retrieved on 2009-07-03. 
  4. "Nigeria and Algeria begin study of $ 6 bn Trans-Saharan gas pipeline", This Day, Alexander's Gas & Oil Connections (2005-05-16). Retrieved on 2007-07-29. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Binniyat, Luka (2008-03-10). "14tcf of gas reserved for Trans-Sahara gas pipeline", Vanguard. Retrieved on 2009-02-23. 
  6. "Study proves technical, economic feasibility of Trans-Saharan gas pipeline", (2006-09-20). Retrieved on 2009-07-04. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Awhotu, Ese (2009-02-20). "Nigerian, Algerian Officials Discuss Saharan Gas Pipeline", Leadership, Downstream Today. Retrieved on 2009-02-23. 
  8. Okolo, Paul (2009-07-03). "Nigeria, Algeria, Niger Sign Accord on Gas Pipeline". Retrieved on 2009-07-03. 
  9. "Sahara gas pipeline gets go-ahead", BBC News (2009-07-03). Retrieved on 2009-07-03. 
  10. "A look at North Africa: Algeria’s troubles", Investvine (2013-01-24). Retrieved on 2013-01-27. 
  11. Morocco and Nigeria to Execute the Atlantic Gas Pipeline, Egypt Oil & Gas, May 17, 2017
  12. Moroccan-Nigerian Pipeline Puts Final Nail in Algeria’s Trans-Saharan Gas Project, The North Africa Post, May 24, 2017
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 "FACTBOX-Sonatrach and its gas partners", Reuters (2007-09-24). Retrieved on 2009-02-23. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 Awoniyi, Ola (2009-07-03). "Nigeria, Algeria, Niger seal $10 bln gas pipeline deal". Retrieved on 2009-07-03. 
  15. "Trans-Saharan gas pipeline to reach Europe in 2015", Business Intelligence Middle East (2009-02-22). Retrieved on 2009-02-23. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 Fabi, Randy (2009-02-25). "Total, Gazprom eye Sahara gas pipeline venture". Retrieved on 2009-03-15. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 Webb, Simon (2009-06-30). "No deal yet on firms for Sahara gas pipeline-Khelil". Retrieved on 2009-07-03. 
  18. Tumanjong, Emmanuel (2008-03-31). "Gazprom In Talks To Join Trans-Saharan Pipeline - Official", Downstream Today. Retrieved on 2008-06-08. 
  19. "Gazprom eyes Saharan pipe plans", NHST Media Group (2008-04-16). Retrieved on 2008-06-08. 
  20. "Algeria ambassador urges for Indian embassy", Business Standard (2008-04-20). Retrieved on 2009-02-23. 
  21. "Trans-Saharan Gas Project 'Not For Sale' - Ministers", Downstream Today (2009-07-07). Retrieved on 2009-07-08. 
  22. "Mend claims attack on Shell installation", Radio France Internationale (2009-07-05). Retrieved on 2010-10-24. 
  23. Nigerian militants threaten proposed Trans-Sahara gas line, Oil & Gas Journal, Jul. 7, 2009

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External resources

External articles

Wikipedia also has an article on Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline (Trans-Saharan gas pipeline. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License].