Algeria consolidates itself as Spain’s largest gas supplier after summer


Imports from that country have been in first place for two months, although the United States remains the first supplier so far this year

Algeria has again become Spain’s main supplier of natural gas for the second month in a row after several months of diplomatic tensions between different countries, seasoned with record prices for this raw material and a demand from European border countries to supply themselves with a view to on winter. In October, the gas pipeline connecting the Maghreb country to the coast of Almería injected one-fifth of the gas consumed by the Spanish system. Specifically, these imports represented 21.2% of the total, which is the second month in a row after September and leads the ranking of gas-supplying countries, according to data updated by Enagás.

In October, behind Algeria was the United States, whose gas sales to Spain represented 17.2% of the total. Although the arrival of natural gas from the other side of the Atlantic, via methane tankers, so far continues to drive imports through 2022, accounting for nearly 30% of the total.

The gas easing is starting to be noticed in the Spanish market after a year plagued by disruptions. The first of these was the closure of the gas pipeline connecting Algeria to the Cadiz coast via Morocco, due to the complex diplomatic relations between Moroccans and Algerians. To that infrastructure shutdown, which was closed exactly one year ago (October 31, 2021), was added Spain’s new position regarding the referendum in Western Sahara and its commitment to autonomy in Morocco, which upset Algiers. Although that country maintained the Mezgaz gas pipeline, always pending prices.

In these months, the United States has replaced the gas market that Algeria has left behind due to the closure of its gas pipeline through Morocco. So much so that in just a few months of this 2022, the arrival of methane tankers from the east coast of the US will account for 40% of gas imports from Spain, well above those from Algeria and other countries.

The realignment of the gas market after the summer has a lot to do with the moderation of the prices of this raw material on the international market, as well as the weather conditions this autumn, more favorable than in other years. Gas demand has grown by 2.9% so far this year (from January to October), mainly due to the increase in electricity consumption growth, despite the fact that in October gas demand is lower (-5, 5%) than in the same month last year, partly influenced by warmer than usual temperatures.

Source: La Verdad


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