Spain Negotiates Reopening of Maghreb-Europe Pipeline With Algeria


Spain hopes to break the deadlock in the closed pipeline that is amid a diplomatic crisis between Morocco and Algeria

The Spanish government is doubling its efforts to negotiate with Algeria regarding the reopening of the Maghreb-Europe pipeline.

Sources from the energy sector told Spanish news outlet MERCA2 that Spain is currently making high-level contact with Algeria to come up with an agreement to reopen the pipeline. Algeria refused to extend its engagement contract, which expired in October 2021, citing alleged “hostility” from Morocco as the reason to end the pipeline contract. The decision to suspend the contract came just a few months after Algeria’s decision to sever diplomatic relations with Morocco, an announcement that Morocco described as “unilateral action.” The pipeline had been transporting gas to Spain from Algeria through Morocco. After the suspension, Algeria decided to supply Spain with its gas through its lower-capacity Medgaz pipeline. The quoted sources are questioning whether Algeria is ready to put its conflict with Morocco aside. Quoting its sources, MERCA2 said: “Until now, the government of Abdelmadjid Tenbboune opposed the possibility of reaching an agreement between Madrid and Rabat on the reopening of the gas pipeline section that runs exclusively through Morocco and brings gas from Spain to Morocco.” MERCA2 sees that there is a possibility that Algeria could change its mind with the ongoing crisis between Ukraine and Russia. The news outlet recalled a phone conversation between Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez and Tebboune, in which they discussed the challenge that the closed pipeline creates. Spain seeks the total reopening of the pipeline to increase gas supply to Spain and the rest of Europe, “which is currently negotiating with other countries to increase the volume of gas.” However, Spain’s actions to secure the reopening of the pipeline could potentially face some competition from Moroccan gas. Earlier this week, Morocco and the National Hydrocarbons and Mines Office (ONHYM) announced the signing of an interconnection of the Tendrara project to the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline. The agreement will allow the connection of the Tendrara production concession to the pipeline, via a new gas pipeline which will be built over 120 kilometers. Under the revival deal, Sound Energy will supply the pipeline with gas for a period of 10 years. Read News From Source: Morocco World News