Algeria finally closes the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline after breaking off relations with Morocco

The Algerian Presidency decided not to renew the contract to use the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline, which transports natural gas to Spain via Morocco, after diplomatic relations between the two African countries were broken at the end of the summer.

“Taking into account the aggressive practices of the Kingdom of Morocco against Algeria (…), the President of the Republic (Abdelmayid Tebune) ordered the national company Sonatrak to terminate the trade relationship with the Moroccan company and to terminate the contract,” the Algerian Presidency assured this Sunday in a statement.

Despite the suspension, Algeria will continue to supply Spain with natural gas via the Mezgaz pipeline with loads of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by ship, with a delivery schedule that both countries have yet to define, as confirmed a few days ago by the third Vice-President of the Spanish Government and Minister for ecological change, Teresa Ribera, at a meeting with her Algerian counterpart in Algiers.

Algeria finally closes the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline after breaking off relations with Morocco
Algeria finally closes the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline after breaking off relations with Morocco

The Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline, which was inaugurated in 1996 with the aim of developing economic integration in the Maghreb, provided Morocco with around 50 to 200 million dollars – or 43 to 173 million euros – annually for the use of its territory, according to the Algerian media. Tout sur L’Algerie ‘.

The deal also allowed Morocco to extract between 800 and 1 billion cubic meters of gas a year to produce 10 percent of the country’s electricity.

The Algerian government announced the severance of diplomatic relations with Morocco in August, citing a number of circumstances, including the lack of progress in settling the dispute over Western Sahara, in which Algiers is an ally of the Polisario Front.

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