Despite Algeria’s relations with Spain hitting an all time low when Madrid formally supported Morocco’s claim to Western Sahara, this north African country still remains the largest exporter of gas to Spain, according to Saudi outlet Asharq Al-Awsat

Algerian gas topped the list of Spain’s energy imports in January, despite a political dispute with Madrid over the Western Sahara issue, it claims.

The specialized Arab news platform (Attaqa) has affirmed that Algerian gas exports represented more than a quarter of Spain’s imports in January.

Algeria regained its place at the top of the list of gas exporters to Spain during the first month of 2023, according to the platform.

It was the main supplier of natural gas to Spain in January, accounting for 25.7 percent of the total, followed by the United States (21.3 percent).

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a year ago, Spain has been receiving most of its gas in the form of seaborne liquefied natural gas.

These shipments represented 67.3 percent of the total imports, while purchases through pipelines made up 32.7 percent, the Spanish government said.

“Algeria tops the list in terms of countries of high credibility in supplying clients with gas,” the platform added.

This pushes the US to second place, as in 2022 it claimed that it had the highest gas sales to Spain.

READ: France probes its Algerian pensioners, alive and dead

Despite the halt of pumping through the trans-Mediterranean pipeline that links Algeria to Spain through Morocco since November 2021 – which earnt the Moroccan government around 50m euros each year with transit fees – the Algerian liquefied natural gas continued to flow to the neighboring Mediterranean country.

Algeria exported 56 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas last year, up from 54 bcm in 2021.

This increase was affected by Russia halting its gas supplies to the European continent.

Algeria decided to freeze trade with Spain in June. Since then, trade losses have reached one billion euros.

Late last month, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said he regrets the deteriorating relations between Algeria and Madrid, affirming that no progress has been made to normalize relations between both countries.

Tebboune stressed that Madrid took a bad step when it changed its historic and balanced stance toward the Sahara issue.

Asharq Al-Awsat


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