Algeria warns of potential gas gas hike for Spain
Algeria's national gas company Sonatrach warned on April 1 it might increase the price of gas supplies to Spain, amid a diplomatic row between the two countries over the status of the disputed Western Sahara region.
Spain last month supported Morocco's proposal to give the Western Sahara region limited regional autonomy, ending its 42-year-old policy of remaining neutral in the dispute. A former Spanish colony, Western Sahara was annexed by Morocco in 1975. Algeria supports the region's separatist movement and has called for independence, and the two countries have been locked in a dispute over the territory for decades.
Algeria has condemned Spain's "abrupt U-turn" in policy, and responded by recalling its ambassador from Madrid.
"Since the start of the Ukraine crisis, gas and oil prices have skyrocketed. Algeria has decided to stick, for all its customers, to relatively fair contract prices," Sonatrach CEO Toufik Hakker told national news agency APS. "But a 'recalculation' of prices for our Spain customer is not ruled out."
Spain's largest gas supplier is Algeria, receiving deliveries via the Maghreb-Europe and Medgaz pipelines, the former of which runs through Morocco first.