Economy

Algeria ‘guarantees’ continued supply of natural gas to Spain

Promise comes days before Algeria set to cut off gas to Morocco

Alyssa McMurtry   | 27.10.2021
Algeria ‘guarantees’ continued supply of natural gas to Spain

OVIEDO, Spain

Spanish Minister for Ecological Transition Teresa Ribera made an urgent trip Wednesday to Algeria to ensure natural gas supply to Spain amid diplomatic tensions between Algeria and Morocco.

Algeria supplies Spain with around 40% of its natural gas but much of it arrives through the 13.5 billion-cubic-meter Maghreb-Europe (GME) pipeline that flows through Morocco to Spain.

But the pipeline’s contract is set to expire Oct. 31. After that, Algeria is threatening to turn off the tap to halt gas supplies to Morocco.

In August, Algeria cut diplomatic ties with Morocco, accusing its neighbor of “hostile acts.”

After meeting Algerian Energy Minister Mohamed Arkab, Ribera said she received a “total guarantee” that Spain will keep receiving the same amount of gas as previously agreed.

Speaking to reporters, she said the Algerian minister explained how Spain will be able to ensure supply by continuing to transport gas through the Medgaz pipeline, which flows directly from Algeria to Spain, and with complementary liquified natural gas (LNG).

The LNG will most likely be shipped on boats.

“This will be done according to a new schedule that we’ll have to specify in the best way possible to make sure everything works smoothly,” she added.

This supply disruption comes as Spanish businesses and consumers are being slammed with record-high electricity prices.

On Tuesday, the European Union shut down Spain’s desperate request to begin allowing countries to set electricity prices independently and “decouple” high gas prices from the final energy prices.

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