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Algeria guarantees gas supplies to Spain

After the visit to Algiers by Spanish minister Teresa Ribera
Gas field in Algeria

REUTERS/LAMINE CHIKHI  -   Gas field in Algeria

Algeria has guaranteed the supply of gas to Spain under the terms established and has certified that the gas volume granted can be increased in the event of greater Spanish demand, something to bear in mind in view of the coming winter and a possible increase in energy demand.

This announcement came after the visit to Algiers by Spain's Minister of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, who met with the Algerian Minister of Energy, Mohamad Arkab, according to the EFE news agency.

Teresa Ribera positively highlighted the link between Spain and the North African nation. The Spanish minister described the relationship between the two countries as very important "from the point of view of planning and good resource management, including, obviously, the exploitation and export of natural gas from Algeria". 

"Not only has the total guarantee been made explicit with respect to supply, to the volumes of supply agreed today, but also the openness, if necessary, to study when and how, in the event that Spain requests an increase in this supply, this could materialise," added the minister, Teresa Ribera. 

El gasoducto que une España, Marruecos y Argelia
PHOTO/REUTERS - The gas pipeline linking Spain, Morocco and Algeria

Spain, through its Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, had already taken steps with Algeria to explore the situation of the gas supply reaching national territory due to the conflict between the Algerian country and its neighbour Morocco. Albares himself tried to see if there had been a rapprochement between Morocco and Algeria on this issue. In his last visit to North African territory to meet with the Algerian authorities together with senior executives of Spanish companies such as Enagás and Naturgy, he did not manage to bring Algeria closer to Morocco in order to settle the dispute between the two countries. 

Algeria broke off diplomatic relations with the Alawi kingdom on 24 August last due to the political differences between the two nations, which have historically clashed over important issues such as the dispute over Western Sahara, and decided to change its gas supply routes, avoiding the Maghreb-Europe Gas Pipeline, which transported gas through Morocco, and instead using the Medgaz infrastructure. 

José Manuel Albares, ministro español de Asuntos Exteriores
PHOTO - José Manuel Albares, Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister

Spain is highly dependent on Algeria for 50% of the natural gas consumed by the Spanish nation. This places the Spanish government in a difficult situation because Algeria is an avowed rival of Morocco in the Maghreb, with major political disputes over the years, and because the Spanish government was now seeking to improve its diplomatic relations with the Alawi kingdom after a rather complicated period generated by the decision of Pedro Sánchez's government to welcome the leader of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, to be treated for serious health problems in a hospital in Logroño without having informed or collaborated with Morocco, as was denounced by the North African country.

On the other hand, there is also the problem of Western Sahara, where Morocco has not felt supported by Spain despite the fact that it has significant support from important nations such as the United States for its formula of broad autonomy for the Sahrawi territory under Moroccan sovereignty; all this in the face of a proposal for a referendum on Sahrawi independence proposed by the Polisario Front, which has little support, including from Algeria.