Gas: Sanchez in talks with Teboune to reopen GME

The head of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, is said to be in talks with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune to reopen the GME gas pipeline, whose contract has not been renewed by Algeria to “approve” Morocco. Algeria wants to seize the opportunity of the current geopolitical crisis to supply gas to Europe.

While the hydrocarbon crisis has been affecting world markets and national economies since the start of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, Europeans are trying to find solutions to Russian gas shortages.

And it is naturally on the side of Algeria that the countries of the old continent, especially because of geographical proximity, have become synonymous with low cost. But since Algeria decided on 31 October not to renew the contract for the GME gas pipeline, which runs through Morocco due to its enmity with the Kingdom, Europeans have found this option difficult to fulfill.

According to the news site Spanish MERCA2, citing sources in the Spanish ministry, on 6 March the first telephone exchange between Pedro Sánchez and Abdelmadjid Teboune followed, with the aim of reassuring Spain’s supply of Algerian gas, between the two countries and Contact continued at the highest level. energy.

The site confirms, citing these sources, that this telephone conversation allowed them to be “optimistic” and “give them reason to expect a change in Algeria’s position on the GME”.

Until now, Abdelmajid Tebboune’s government had resisted the possibility of reaching an agreement to reopen the section of Madrid and Rabat’s gas pipeline that specifically crosses Moroccan soil and transport gas from Spain to Morocco. crosses over.

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But faced with the current geopolitical situation and the promise of Algerian leaders that Algeria is a “credible” partner, gas demand among Europeans is becoming more and more pressing, and the solution to the old continent’s supply is to revive GME gas. Will have to open from Pipeline to connect Algeria with Europe.

Due to sanctions on Russian gas, which covers 20% of the world’s demand, gas prices are currently skyrocketing. Importers don’t have a lot of options before them, but they would prefer to avoid the liquefied form of American gas (LNG) which is 40% more expensive.

At this stage, the head of the Spanish government will be negotiating a return to good practices with Abdelmadjid Tebboune as Pedro Sánchez gave him a great favor by welcoming the leader of the Algiers-sponsored Sahrawi separatists against Morocco last spring, And at what cost his diplomatic relations with Rabat. At present relations are still sealed by the friendly spirit of Madrid.

“Contacts are currently + at the + highest level + between Spain and Algeria so that the Maghreb-Europe (GME) brings gas back to the old continent”, the Spanish site indicated.

“The key question here is whether Algeria will decide to put its eternal conflict with the Alaouite Empire on the back burner in order to become a major player in the new geopolitical and economic landscape emerging after the Russian military intervention in Ukraine. This change may already have taken place in the U.S., as evidenced by the fact that the Algerian President has acknowledged that the Maghreb gas pipeline is used in the opposite direction to transport natural gas from Spain to power plants in Morocco, “Signs consulted by Spanish sources MERCA2.

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The GME which no longer works is very important for Spain but also for Europe as it will make it possible to facilitate the flow of gas between the two continents. With a length of 1,400 km, of which 540 cross Morocco, the GME contributes annually to supplying Spain with 6,000 to 8,000 million cubic meters of gas.

This gas pipeline alone provided 25% of Spanish gas imports, which passed through the Strait of Gibraltar after crossing Moroccan territory and delivering gas to the Spanish terminal located in the city of Cádiz.

Today, only one gas pipeline connecting Algeria to Spain is in the works, Medgaz, and its capacity is less than that of the GME. And while the Algerian authorities have categorically refused to reopen the GME as it crosses Morocco and therefore do not want to allow it to profit from Algerian gas, Algeria is currently working to bolster Medgaz supplies. Doing this so that you don’t have to use GME anymore. ,

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