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Sonatrach Maintains Its Lead In Gas Suppliers To Spain

December 8, 2021

The quantities of Algerian gas exported to Spain declined during the month of October, however, Sonatrach maintained its lead as the first supplier of gas to this European country, with a remarkable rise in purchases of US liquefied gas, which rose by 126 percent, and became a direct competitor to Algerian gas.

In this context, a data document of the Spanish Energy Stocks Management and Control Authority “CORES”, reviewed by “Echorouk”, related to the country’s imports of natural gas and liquefied gas for the month of October 2021, showed that Algerian gas sales to Spain amounted to 13.968 gigawatts / hour, which represents 34.6 percent of Spain’s imports of gas during the same month.

Compared to the Algerian gas sales to Spain last September, it is noted that the quantities decreased from 16,687 gigawatts / hour to 13.968 gigawatts / hour, while the quantities of liquefied gas rose in October to 2,417 gigawatts / hour, up from 1,823 last September.

It is clear from these figures that Sonatrach began supplying Spain with additional quantities of liquefied natural gas “LNG”, a month before the suspension of the Maghreb-Europe pipeline passing through Morocco, within the framework of the Algerian authorities’ pledge to guarantee supplies according to the required contractual quantities.

Given the figures of the Spanish Energy Inventories Management and Control Authority “CORES” for the month of October 2021, the United States of America has become a direct competitor to the Spanish gas market, with a significant increase in Madrid’s purchases of American liquefied gas despite very high prices.

In details, Spain’s purchases of US liquefied natural gas increased by 126 percent last October and amounted to 10,172 gigawatt-hours, compared to 5,920 gigawatt-hours during the month of September, representing a market share estimated at 25.2 percent.

These data came in the last month before the suspension of the Maghreb-Europe pipeline, which connects Algeria with Spain via Morocco, which means that the data on the import and consumption of gas in Spain for the month of November 2021 (published in January 2022), will give a clearer view of the Algerian gas supplies to this European country via the direct “Medgaz pipeline”, as well as the increase in the quantities of liquefied natural gas through the ships, which were launched even before the pipeline was stopped, as evidenced by the hike in the quantities of liquefied gas in the month of October compared to what they were in last September.

It seems that Madrid is about to repeat the mistake for the second time, according to observers, from the point of view of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who was subjected in the past months to harsh criticism and accusations of causing the huge rise in natural gas prices ahead of the winter season, due to his policy of preferring North American imports between 2018 and 2020, at the expense of ready and nearby Algerian gas, which led to a terrible slump in the level of reserve stocks.