* LNG needed on completion of regasification unit
* Plans to increase regional power exports
* Pricing details to be finalised
ABIDJAN, Nov 7 Ivory Coast is close to
finalising an agreement to get supplies of liquefied natural gas
(LNG) from Qatar from 2015, an official with Ivorian state oil
company Petroci said, to cover an expected gap as demand
outstrips its gas production.
Ivory Coast, French-speaking West Africa's largest economy,
announced plans in March to build a regasification and storage
unit and estimated its needs at least 37 billion cubic feet of
LNG per year over a decade.
"Qatar will supply us with liquefied gas from 2015. We set
that date so that our infrastructure will be in place. The
storage vessel will only be finished towards the end of 2015,"
said Roland Abrogouah, Petroci's technical adviser for gas.
He said negotiations over a government-to-government
agreement with Qatar, the world's largest LNG exporter, were
very advanced and that several confidentiality agreements had
already been signed.
"The quantities will be the subject of negotiations.
However, we will ensure that the quantities they deliver will
secure Ivory Coast's supply needs," Abrogouah said on the
sidelines of a gas conference in Abidjan.
The price for the LNG also still needs to be finalised, he
Demand currently stands at 270 million cubic feet per day,
while domestic offshore gas fields produce around 220 million
cubic feet per day, Abrogouah said.
Requirements for gas are due to rise to 400 million cubic
feet per day by 2020, and new gas discoveries have so far failed
to keep pace with the growing demand.
Ivory Coast, a regional economic powerhouse before a
decade-long political crisis divided the nation in two, has an
enviably reliable power supply by regional standards and already
exports electricity to Ghana, Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo and
With the crisis years now behind it, the country plans to
connect Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone to its grid and is
pushing to develop a potentially lucrative, but power-needy
Around 70 percent of Ivory Coast's electricity is produced
by gas-fuelled thermal power plants.
(Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibly; Writing by Joe Bavier;
Editing by Emma Farge and Jane Baird)