Europe Flip-Flops on Africa’s Gas | God's World News

Europe Flip-Flops on Africa’s Gas

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    A soldier stands guard at a gas plant in Ain Amenas, Algeria. (AP)
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    Africa’s fuel producers face many challenges. Turmoil and security issues are just some of those problems. (AP)
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    Steam leaves a cooling tower of a gas-fired power plant in Berlin, Germany. European leaders turn to Africa for more natural gas. The EU needs to replace Russian exports amid the war in Ukraine. (AP/Michael Sohn)
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    A gas station worker fuels a motorcycle near Kampala, Uganda. (AP/Hajarah Nalwadda)
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    People buy kerosene at a petrol station in Lagos, Nigeria. The country is rich in oil, but many people must still use “dirtier” fuels such as kerosene. (AP/Sunday Alamba)
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Europe is running low on gas. Most countries there don’t want to rely on Russia for fuel. Now many are looking to rich sources of natural gas on the African continent. But there’s a problem: Those same countries told Africa to stop extracting it.

Since the start of Russia’s war with Ukraine, European countries have scrambled for non-Russian sources of fuel. Russia slowed exports to European Union countries. The United States ships some natural gas to Europe. But the EU needs more. The shortage sent energy prices soaring.

Recently, Europe began looking at African nations as possible fuel sources. Africa’s natural gas reserves are vast. Plus, countries like Algeria have pipelines already linked to Europe.

However, turmoil and security issues have long thwarted Africa’s fuel producers. Most struggle with theft, vandalism, clashes with Islamic militants, and extracting and shipping expenses.

Nigeria possesses Africa’s largest natural gas reserves. But thefts and costs plague the country’s fuel industry. Therefore, Nigeria supplies little of the EU’s imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

A proposed Trans-Sahara Gas Pipeline would take Nigerian gas to Algeria en route to Europe. But the project stalled after a 2009 agreement, mainly because of its estimated cost of $13 billion. Many fear that even a completed pipeline would face security risks.

Other countries like Senegal and Mozambique also contain gas reserves.

Some African nations aren’t thrilled with the idea of exporting gas anyway, even though doing so could open up big economic opportunities for a continent that struggles with poverty.

Commenting on his country’s fuel exports, Nigerian community developer Pius Dimkpa told a Bloomberg reporter, “The gas here goes to . . . Europe to power homes and industries, but we have no benefits from it.” Data company Bloomberg says Nigeria exports natural gas even though many places like Dimkpa’s town use “dirtier” fuels such as kerosene—and still can’t keep the lights on.

Other countries also do without in order to sell fuel to Europe. Cash-strapped Egypt’s government controls street lights and air conditioning in shopping malls. That way the government can sell surplus fuel.

The biggest problem may be the EU’s own flip-flop on African oil and gas.

After all, Africa’s fuel projects are floundering partly because the rest of the world hasn’t helped fund them. A year ago, EU leaders pledged to end oil and gas investments in Africa. Now the very advisors who pushed African nations toward solar and wind power clamor for their gas.

Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. — 1 Corinthians 15:58

Why? Ignoring needs of others until desiring fulfilment of those needs only for oneself is an unattractive—and unbiblical—character quality.