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Cablegate: Start of Gas Flow Through West African Gas

VZCZCXRO0844
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHOS #0780 3471213
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 131213Z DEC 07
FM AMCONSUL LAGOS
TO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA PRIORITY 9395
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA PRIORITY 1337
RUEHCO/AMEMBASSY COTONOU PRIORITY 0652
RUEHPC/AMEMBASSY LOME PRIORITY 0657
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9650
INFO RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH AFB UK
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RHMCSUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS LAGOS 000780

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/W, EEB/ESC, INR/AA,
TREASURY FOR ASEVERENS, SRENENDER, DFIELDS
COMMERCE FOR KBURRESS
DOE FOR GPERSON, CGAY
STATE PASS USTR FOR ASST USTR FLISER
STATE PASS TRANSPORTATION FOR MARAD
STATE PASS OPIC FOR ZHAN AND MSTUCKART
STATE PASS TDA FOR NCABOT
STATE PASS EXIM FOR JRICHTER
STATE PASS USAID FOR GWEYNAND AND SLAWAETZ

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EPET ECIN ECON ENRG PGOV NI
SUBJECT: START OF GAS FLOW THROUGH WEST AFRICAN GAS
PIPELINE DELAYED

REF: LAGOS 000645

1. (SBU) A USAID contractor advising the West African Gas
Pipeline Company (WAGPco) reports that the free flow of
natural gas through the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) has
been delayed until at least January 2008. WAGPco had
announced December 5th as the date for starting the flow of
gas. However, due to delays in hydro testing of the onshore
portion of the pipeline, the earliest date the pipeline could
be ready is December 23, 2007. Two additional weeks would
then be needed for commissioning procedures before starting
operations.

2. (SBU) Additionally, the Escravos Lagos Pipeline (ELP)
Branch A is still undergoing repair. Two ELP branches supply
gas to the WAGP; Branch A which brings dry natural gas from
Chevron's onshore gas fields and Branch B which flows wet gas
from Shell's fields. While Branch B has sufficient
quantities of natural gas to support free flow through the
WAGP, alone its gas is too wet. Branch B gas must be mixed
with dryer Branch A gas to fall within WAGP tolerances. Gas
that is too wet for the pipeline would be corrosive.
Nigeria's Minister of State for Energy (Gas) Odusina Emmanuel
has said that Branch A repairs will be complete by December
15th, however the USAID contractor believed that date will
slide.

3. (SBU) Comment: Problems with Chevron's portion of the
pipeline feeding WAGP are well documented (Ref). Even if
repairs to ELP are completed by December 15th, the onshore
pipeline (and a reliable supply to WAGPco customers) remains
vulnerable to vandalism. End Comment.

4. (U) This cable coordinated with Embassy Abuja.
BLAIR

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