Algeria halts gas supplies to Spain
Algeria’s president on October 31 ordered state national energy company Sonatrach to stop sending natural gas to Spain due to disputes over Morocco, various media outlets reported.
The official Algeria Press Service reported that Algerian president Abdelamdjid Tebboue ordered Sonatrach to end its commercial relationship with the Moroccan government. Sonatrach in turn was ordered to halt natural gas deliveries to Spain due to political tensions with Morocco, which shares a border with Algeria.
Algeria suspended diplomatic ties with Morocco in August, accusing an independence movement in the Berber region of Morocco of playing a role in forest fires that left at least 90 people dead and scorched tens of thousands of forested land in Algeria.
Tebboune said at the time that “criminal hands” were behind the forest fires, The National news outlet reported.
Algeria sends natural gas to Spain through two separate pipelines crossing the Mediterranean Sea, meeting about a third of total Spanish demand.
The spat will put further pressure on the European energy sector, which is already grappling with soaring gas and power prices amid high demand and supply limitations.
Spanish gas demand was 6.3% higher than in the same period in 2020. There was a 9.8% increase in domestic and industrial demand, accounting for around 83% of the total. Residential demand rose 11.8%, thanks to the storm in January, and industrial demand rose by 9% as the economy picks up.