As Europe seeks alternatives to dwindling supplies of Russian gas, the minister said that security issues are delaying deliveries of more gas at the moment but Nigeria will build a pipeline Nigerian gas through Algeria to Europe.

Nigeria will soon take the final decision over the investment to build the infrastructure, the minister said, adding that the project is likely to cost more than $10 billion.

The Nigerian and Algerian state oil companies will be involved, Sylva said, adding that other private investors have also shown interest.

Italian energy group Eni may also be involved in the project, he said without elaborating.

"Everybody is welcome," he added.

(Reporting by Marwa Rashad, Francesca Landini and Francesco Zecchini; Writing by Federica Urso; Editing by Federico Maccioni and David Goodman)