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Nigeria-Morocco Offshore and Onshore Gas Pipeline


In December 2016, King Mohammed VI of Morocco officially announced the construction of the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline. The idea of a trans-Saharan gas pipeline was already proposed in the 1970s with a goal of diversifying Europe’s gas resources .“For economic, political, legal and security reasons, the choice was made on a combined onshore and offshore route,” Morocco’s National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the two authorities supervising the project said in the joint declaration. 

Project proponents cite the expected economic benefits to both countries, as well as to other West Africa countries. According to them, and to official statements, the strategic project could turn West Africa into an industrialised energy hub. Environmentalists and NGOs from the region cite the huge investment for the project that can be directed to renewable energy, the potential environmental cost, the environmental and socio-economic cost of the associated development and industrialisation policy and vision, as well as the exploitative colonialist nature of the project that will ultimately only serve to meet Europe energy needs at the expense of African countries and communities.

A large number of organizations signed the following statement [1] :  " In December 2016, an announcement was made of a nearly 5000 km Nigeria-Morocco offshore gas pipeline which at today’s prices will cost an estimated 20 billion US dollars. In reality, the actual costs will likely be much higher. This pipeline would be a continuation of the existing 678 km long West African Gas pipeline (WAGP) that has been in service since 2010. It aims to serve 12 countries on the African continent and some 300 million potential consumers, with a possible extension to the Europe.

We, the undersigned organizations, are concerned about this project for several reasons, including: While the acceleration of global warming exceeds all expectations and greenhouse gas emissions have set a new record in 2016, the construction of this pipeline can only go in the direction of an increase of extraction and consumption of fossil resources, the main causes of global warming.

Contrary to what is often asserted, gas is not clean energy. The methane in it is more volatile than CO2, and much more powerful in global warming potential.  Moreover, the concentration of methane in the atmosphere has accelerated dangerously since 2007. The extraction, transportation and use of fossil fuels has considerable environmental implications: the disturbing effects of seismic studies on marine fauna, the use and release of various chemical substances and wastes, the risks of leaks, fires and explosions related to corrosion and navigation are additional risks to that of methane emissions. This will destroy livelihoods of millions of our people depending on fisheries in our regional waters.

The section already constructed (WAGP) was done without consulting the populations who rejected the environmental impact study. It is a top-down project that does not consider the needs of the populations and the environment. They are not consulted and will not be the first beneficiaries of this pipeline. While Nigeria is Africa’s largest exporter of gas and oil, less than half of the population has access to electricity. In Benin, Togo, already served by the WAGP, barely a third of the population have access to electricity.

The proposed pipeline is a project for the multinational corporations. Nigerians do not benefit from Oil exploitation in Nigeria. The energy produced will be used primarily to fuel agribusiness projects and export-oriented industrial clusters at the expense of small farmers and artisans and the satisfaction of the needs of the people.

This project will be a financial sinkhole. It is likely that the forecast cost of US $ 20 billion will be probably doubled and will lead to an exponential increase of the debt burden of our countries.

We the undersigned believe that the proposed Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline is bad for the region, our peoples and the Planet. We say NO to the project, Because we choose the climate in place of fossil energy, Because we choose the health of our planet against the appetites of multinationals, Because we refuse to pay for projects that will not bring us anything, We say no to the Nigeria Morocco pipeline." [1]

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Nigeria-Morocco Offshore and Onshore Gas Pipeline
Accuracy of locationLOW (Country level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Pollution related to transport (spills, dust, emissions)
Climate change related conflicts (glaciers and small islands)
Specific commodities:Natural Gas

Project Details and Actors

Project details

The pipeline will be approximately 5,660-km long and its construction works will be in phases covering 25 years.

There is opposition expressed in these terms by numerous organizations in 2018: "In December 2016, an announcement was made of a nearly 5000 km Nigeria-Morocco offshore gas pipeline which at today’s prices will cost an estimated 20 billion US dollars. In reality, the actual costs will likely be much higher. This pipeline would be a continuation of the existing 678 km long West African Gas pipeline (WAGP) that has been in service since 2010. It aims to serve 12 countries on the African continent and some 300 million potential consumers, with a possible extension to the Europe."[1]

Level of Investment for the conflictive project20,000,000,000
Type of populationUnknown
Start of the conflict:12/2016
Company names or state enterprises:Ihmar Capital from Morocco - The Moroccan investment partner in the partnership with Nigeria to constrct the pipeline.
Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) from Nigeria - NSIA is the Nigerian counterpart to the Moroccan Ithmar Capital, the two investment partners in the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline Project.
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) from Nigeria
Relevant government actors:Moroccan Office for Hydrocarbons and Mining (ONHYM)
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)
International and Finance InstitutionsThe Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:1. ATTAC Morocco
2. Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Nigeria
3. Peoples Advancement Centre, Nigeria
4. Justica Ambiental, Mozambique
5. Centre for Children’s Health Education, Orientation and Protection (CEE-HOPE), Nigeria.
6. Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD), Nigeria.
7. Les Amis de la Terre Togo (ADT-Togo), Togo
8. Jeune Chretien en Action Pour le Development (JCAD), Togo
9. Centre for Social Studies and Development- We the People, Nigeria
10. Oilwatch Ghana, Ghana
11. Environmental Justice North Africa (EJNA)
12. Green Concern for Development (GREENCODE), Nigeria
13. Social Action, Nigeria
14. Rainforest Resource and Development Centre (RRDC), Nigeria
15. Lokiaka Community Development Centre, Nigeria
16. Green Alliance of Nigeria (GAN)
17. Struggle to Economize Future Environment (SEFE), Cameroon
18., Africa
19. Gastivists, International
20. Youth Climate Coalition, UK
21. Platform London, UK
22. Observatori del Deute en la Globalització (ODG), Catalunya
23. CoalSwarm, USA
24. Millieudefensie/Friends of the Earth Netherlands
25. Amigos de la Tierra (FoE Spain)
26. Oil Change International, International
27. Corporate Europe Observatory, Belgium
28. Association Pierredomachal, France
29. Ecologistas en Acción (Spain)
30. Attac (France)
31. Climáximo (Portugal)
32. Friends of the earth (USA)
33. Food & Water Europe
34. Friends of the Earth Europe
35. Non au Gazoduc Fos Dunkerque, France
36. Leave it in the Ground Initiative (LINGO)
37. Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, Nigeria
38. Egi Human Rights and Environmental Initiative, Nigeria
39. Ikarama Women Association, Nigeria
40. Oil watch international

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment


Environmental ImpactsVisible: Global warming
Potential: Air pollution, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Waste overflow, Oil spills, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Other Environmental impacts
Other Environmental impactsMonoculture and Agro-industry
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Occupational disease and accidents, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession


Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Strengthening of participation
Proposal and development of alternatives:- Shift to renewable non-fossil energy sources
- Shift away from agribusiness and industrial clusters and focus on small-scale farmers
- Prioritising local community needs over energy needs of multinational corporations
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Outcome still not clear. The construction works will be in phases covering 25 years.

Sources & Materials

News article about the project, published on 26 January 2017

Economic Development in the Pipeline

Article about the Nigeria-Morocco pipeline plan, published on 27 January 2017

Morocco, Nigeria plan for a trans-African gas pipeline

News article about the pipeline project developments, published on 16 May 2017

Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline Project Taking Shape

A report on the project , published on 30 July 2018

Morocco-Nigeria Gas Pipeline: Smart Move for Economy or an Environmental Disaster

Press release about the African Bank focus to accelerate industrialisation of Africa, published on 14 May 2018

2018 Annual Meetings focus on accelerating Africa’s industrialization

11 June 2018, Reuters. Morocco, Nigeria agree on next steps for offshore/onshore gas pipeline

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[1] Collective statement by 40 different national, regional, and international NGOs and EJOs, published on 23 March 2018

Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline: Not in Our Interest

Is the Nigeria-Moroccan pipeline project possible, or is it just a pipe dream?. Fumnanya Agbugah - Ezeana. Jun. 12 2018 (a good report)

Meta information

Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:3655



Map of planned pipeline route