Algiers threatened to break the gas supply contract with Spain if Madrid “diverts” Algerian gas to Morocco.
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While Algeria has cut off gas to Morocco since October 2021, Spain has pledged that it will supply gas to Morocco but not from Algeria. Algiers threatened to break its contract with Spain if it diverts Algerian gas “to a third goal”So to Morocco.
Specifically, Rabat can buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) on the international markets, have it shipped to Spain, where it will be regasified before being shipped to Morocco via the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline (GME). “The activation of this mechanism has been discussed with Algeria over the last few months and communicated to the Algerian Minister on April 27, 2022.” of energy the Spanish Ministry of Ecological Transition on April 27th.
“Under no circumstances will the gas purchased by Morocco be of Algerian origin.”Spanish Ministry of Ecological Transition
in a press release
While Spain’s dependence on Algerian gas has decreased in recent months, according to the Spanish gas network operator, in the first quarter of 2022 almost 25% of the gas imported by Spain came from Algeria, compared to more than 40% in 2021. This gas will be shipped to Spain by Algerian hydrocarbon giant Sonatrach via the Medgaz subsea gas pipeline, which directly connects the two countries.
In October 2021, Algiers stopped selling gas through the GME to Morocco due to a diplomatic crisis between the two countries over Western Sahara.
Madrid has approached the Moroccan position on this explosive file. A spectacular diplomatic turn that went down very badly in Algiers. The conflict in the former Spanish colony has turned Morocco against the Polisario Front for decades. Key support for Sahrawi separatists from Algeria’s Polisario Front has not waned since Spain decided in mid-March to support Morocco’s Western Sahara autonomy plan in a bid to end the nearly year-long diplomatic crisis with Flap.
In response, Algiers recalled its ambassador to Spain, while Sonatrach did not rule out a price hike on gas shipped to Spain. On April 23, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune described Madrid’s reversal of Western Sahara from “morally and historically unacceptable”, while ensuring that Algeria does not do this “would never renounce its obligations to supply gas to Spain”.