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Qatar Surpasses Algeria As Top Gas Supplier To Spain

September 30, 2020

Qatar seized the top spot as first gas supplier to Spain from Algeria for the first time in history, as its exports of this product to Spain reached about 23.9 percent of the needs of this country, while Algeria reached about 22 percent last July, amid talk of an imminent agreement between Sonatrach and Spanish “Naturgy” about gas prices.

In this context, a document issued by the Spanish Energy Stocks Management and Control Authority (CORES), of which “Echorouk” possesses a copy, indicates that Qatar’s gas exports exceeded those of their Algerian counterpart for the first time in the history of Spain and this happened during the last month of July, when Algerian exports reached 75 million cubic meters, compared to 81 million cubic meters of Qatari exports to Spain during the same period (July 2020), which represents 23.9 percent of the total volume of Spain’s gas imports in the same month (July).

By calculating Spain’s imports of gas on an annual basis (from August 2019 to July 2020), Algeria remains in control, with exports amounting to about 43,414 gigawatt hours, equivalent to 4.34 billion cubic meters, a decrease of 43 percent.

However, the same document pointed out that this remarkable decline in Algerian exports is also due to the level of Spanish imports of gas since the beginning of data registration in 2004, which were caused by the Corona pandemic and the accompanying measures that affected domestic gas demand in Spain.
The Spanish newspaper “La Información”, which specializes in economic “affairs”, reported that these data regarding the significant drop in Algerian gas exports to Spain come at the height of bilateral negotiations between Sonatrach and the “Naturgy” company (formerly “Natural Fenosa Gas”), regarding the renegotiation of gas prices.

The relevant contract was renewed two years ago.

According to the source, Sonatrach and Naturgy are about to reach a new agreement concerning the gas prices included in the contract for the supply of this product to Spain by Sonatrach, without providing additional details, indicating that there is a fear in “Naturgy” of a repetition of the 2010 scenario that ended with Sonatrach’s victory in the case of International arbitration pertaining to gas prices, a case that cost the Spanish company one billion and 300 million Euros, and this led Sonatrach to become a shareholder in it with 4 percent of the shares.