A diplomatic response to another Algerian provocation

To slightly placate the enthusiasm of the Algerian establishment, irritated by the Iberian neighbor’s new position on the question of Morocco’s Sahara, Spain has promised to ensure the state supplies in natural gas in addition to Algeria.

The Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge has ordered Anagas, a public operator and manager of the Spanish gas system, to establish a system to guarantee the origin of the gas processed and then transported from Spain to Morocco via the Maghreb-Europe gas Go. The pipeline so that the exported gas is not of Algerian origin, revealed to the Spanish media El Periodico de la Energia on May 6, 2022. The same source assumes that Anagas will already work for several days to develop the system aimed at reassuring the Algerian regime and showing its good faith.

As Spain and Morocco turn the page on a nearly year-long diplomatic crisis, by reopening the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline, Algeria continues to issue threats and retaliation. The Algerian establishment does not accept the new position of Pedro S├ínchez’s government concerning the Moroccan Sahara and which directly supports Morocco’s autonomy plan as the most credible and serious solution to the definitive resolution of the dispute.

fixed end of supply
After threatening to directly increase the prices of gas exported to the Iberian neighbour, Algiers attacked the socialist government by branding the scarecrow a definite stoppage of natural gas supplies. The Algerian Minister of Energy, Mohamed Akrab, on Wednesday April 27, 2022, in a press release published by the Algerian news agency APS, threatened to break the gas supply contract with Spain if the latter came to Spain. Transport “destination” for a third, pointing to Morocco, undoubtedly.

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Thus he reacts to news sent by his Spanish counterpart, Teresa Ribera, by e-mail, announcing his country’s decision to authorize the operation of the Maghreb Europe Gas Pipeline (GME) in reverse flow. According to the Spanish minister, this operation was to be done in early November. This announcement angered the tenants of the El Mauradia palace. The reaction was violent and above all provocative.

“Any delivery of Algerian natural gas to Spain, whose destination is none other than as provided in the contract, shall be treated as a breach of contractual commitments, and may, as a result, be a breach of contract binding . Sonatrack for its Spanish customers”, threatens the Algerian minister. Minister Aqrab had already warned his Spanish counterpart in March 2022 against transferring a “single molecule” of Algerian gas to Morocco, El Mundo revealed at the time.

In this case, there is another posture, a type of bullet that does not pass. Since the closure of the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline, as decided by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune on October 31, 2022, Americans have replaced Algeria and become the leading exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Spain. In the first quarter of this year, LNG imports from the United States increased nearly five times (+459.9%) compared to the same period in 2021, from 7,472 GWh in the first quarter of 2021 to 41,839 GWh for the same period in 2022 Went.

On the other hand, during the first three months of 2022, purchases of Algerian gas, historically Spain’s major supplier, were reduced by 32.9%, compared to only 26.1% of the Iberian neighbor’s consumption. Algeria shot herself in the leg.

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