The Trans-Saharan gas pipeline
At an estimated cost of 21 billion USD in 2006, the trans-Saharan gas pipeline would have the capacity to transport some 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year from Nigeria to Europe. Within the European Union, gas consumption is overall shrinking but gas production is declining even faster (30% of the gas needs are supplied by Russia, compared to 14% provided by Algeria). Large natural gas consumers like Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Spain now prefer to purchase liquefied natural gas that can be exported by ship. While the infrastructure costs are significant (the cost of a liquefaction unit amounts to billions of dollars), the liquid natural gas option circumvents the security problems inherent in a trans-Saharan gas pipeline.