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Germany Puts Algerian Gas At The Top Of Its Priorities

Mohamed Meslem // English Version: Med.B
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Germany Puts Algerian Gas At The Top Of Its Priorities

The Europeans are heading towards bolstering their energy relations with Algeria, forced under the pressures of the global energy crisis at a time when the differences between Algeria and Spain are growing and complex, and while gas prices are witnessing a crazy rise supported by the boycott of the countries of the old continent of their main supplier of Russian gas, under pressure from the United States of America.
After Algeria strengthened its relations with the third largest European power, Italy, by concluding new agreements to supply gas and raise exports to more than thirty billion cubic meters per year, the first giant in the old continent, Germany, decided to direct its attention to Algerian gas starting from the year 2024, in the first statement by a German official in this regard since the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

The statement was made by German Economy Minister Robert Habeck, in a meeting with German industrialists, who are complaining about the disruption of their interests due to the gas issue that threatens the global economy with an unprecedented crisis.
The German official was talking about the world entering a new phase marked by high gas prices permanently, stressing by the way the end of the “paradise” of the previous phase in which gas prices were low, which the German minister described as “the bitter and difficult truth”.

The German government is living between two fires, the fire of American pressure calling for it to stop importing Russian gas, and the pressure of industrialists in this economic giant country, who strongly refuse to stop importing Russian gas before their new resource is secured, which will only be Algerian gas, due to several considerations, the first of which is its proximity to the old continent, and then the ease of transporting it through pipelines, which makes it three times less expensive than liquefied gas, which has no means of transporting it other than giant tankers.

In this context, media reports spoke of the beginning of negotiations between Algerian and German officials in order to conclude deals to supply Algerian gas, before the end of this month, in a new fact that will increase the isolation of Spain in Europe, which hastened to seek help, through its Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares, from the Commissioner for Foreign Policy of the European Union, Josep Borrell, to mediate with Algeria to restore bilateral relations, effectively and not officially, since the recall of Ambassador Said Moussa from Madrid last March 19th.

The German official talked about his country’s future partners in the field of gas, and put Algeria at the top of the countries that Berlin intends to import gas from, in addition to the United States of America and Qatar.

However, the difference between Algerian gas and its counterparts coming from Qatar and the United States, will be very expensive and three times more expensive than Algerian gas, because it requires converting it into liquefied gas so that it can be easily transported through giant tankers, and then re-converting it into gas to become usable.
Programming the date of Germany’s import of Algerian gas to 2024, due to the lack of infrastructure to store gas, given that it was consuming it as gas in its first case, as it reaches it from Russia through pipelines, but shipping it through giant tankers requires its liquefaction before converting it into gas. This requires structures that the German government says will be ready within the next three years.

The statement of the German Minister of Economy comes at a time when there are no signs in the offing that the gas crisis is imminent, which was exacerbated by a new basket of sanctions against Russia, represented in stopping the import of Russian oil before the end of this year, a decision that would increase pressure on the energy market. Its prices are already inflamed.

Although the German officials’ declaration of the inevitability of resorting to Algerian gas was delayed, interest in it has been present and strong since the Algerian-Italian agreement last April.

“Echorouk” previously reported a meeting that took place in Berlin between German officials and their Italian counterparts immediately after the visit of Italian Prime Minister Mario. Draghi to Algeria on the 11th of last April, and was coordinating in order to “besiege” the energy crisis that has been imposed on the countries of the old continent.

The outcomes of that coordination meeting left the observers with the impression that Italy will be the main distributor of Algerian gas in the European continent, a role for which Spain had lost billions of euros by equipping the infrastructure, in preparation for its conversion, storage and re-export to European countries through its northeastern borders with France, where there are piping networks that have been completed for this purpose.

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