Algeria: EU to lean on Algerian gas to escape Russian gas dependence

London based paper Financial Times revealed on Wednesday that the European Union is planning to lean on Algeria to increase its gas import, a way to reduce its dependence on the Russian gas sources.

According to the paper, talks have been initiated by the EU energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete and a new importation plan is being discussed. Miguel Arias Canete was in Algiers in May to push the discussions forward and convince Algeria state-owned oil company Sonatrach to open up more for foreign investment, especially in the exploration and production.

European leaders expect Sonatrach to abandon long term contracts and accept rates of the European energy markets. They promised that by doing so, Algeria would have a good share of the European energy market.

Meanwhile, a meeting between Algeria and three European countries namely France, Portugal and Spain will be held in Paris next Tuesday to discuss a plan to increase Algerian gas importation so as to reduce their dependence on the Russian gas.

“Tensions with Russia push EU leaders to multiply their suppliers. An increase in the gas importation through the Pyrénées will help unleash the Algeria gas potential which accounts for world’s 10th largest gas reserves,” the Financial Times said.  

According to the paper, the Algerian gas will be channeled through Spain to France via MidCat pipeline which snakes through the Pyrénées.

Algeria already sells gas to Italy and Spain. In 2013, the country exported around 46.7 billion of M3 natural gas with respectively 45% to Italy and 25% to Spain.

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