Gas Is Stronger Than Politics between Algeria, Spain

Algerian gas topped Spain’s gas imports during the first quarter of 2024 despite a trade rift between Algiers and Madrid over the Sahara conflict.

According to a report on gas imports published by El Espanol newspaper, Algerian gas accounted for 42 percent of Spain’s gas imports during the past three months, while imports from Russia reached 25.7 percent, and 18.2 percent from the US, during the same period.

The newspaper relied on data published by Enagas, the leading Spanish company in the field of transporting natural gas from abroad, and the technical supervisor of energy systems in Spain.

The company explained that the rise in the quantities of gas imported from Algeria was the result of the increase in the pumping through the Medgas pipeline, which connects the city of Beni Saf, in western Algeria, to the city of Almeria in southern Spain.

According to a report by the company, the flow of Algerian gas to Spain via Medgas, between January and March, increased by 15.4 percent compared to the same period in 2023, when the quantity reached 25.8 terawatts.

Algeria topped the countries supplying energy to Spain throughout 2023, with coverage reaching 29.2 percent of the country’s needs, ahead of the United States, which came in second.

Algeria had frozen foreign trade operations of products and services with Spain from June 2022 following an announcement by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez that his country was siding with the Moroccan autonomy plan for Western Sahara.

Algeria strongly supports Polisario’s efforts to establish a Sahrawi state, causing a yearslong rift between Algiers and Rabat.

However, Algiers excluded gas from the decision to stop trade with Spain, as the two countries are bound by long-term energy contracts and any violation of these agreements would have resulted in the case being referred to international arbitration.

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