A British company announced that it had signed an agreement to supply gas to Morocco from a field it operates in the east of the country, a month after Algiers decision not to renew the contract for a gas pipeline serving the Spain via the kingdom.
“Sound Energy has reached an agreement with the Moroccan public establishment ONEE (National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water) for the sale of natural gas from the Tendrara concession in eastern Morocco,” a statement said on Tuesday of the firm specializing in oil and gas exploration.
The announcement of this agreement comes a month after Algiers’ decision to end the Maghreb Europe Gas Pipeline (GME) contract serving Spain via Morocco.
Under the new contract, Sound Energy, headquartered in the United Kingdom, commits to produce and deliver to ONEE up to 350 million cubic meters of liquefied natural gas per year, over a period of 10 years.
The gas will pass through the Moroccan part of GME, according to the press release, which should allow the restart of this gas pipeline crossing Morocco and which delivered Algerian gas to the Iberian Peninsula before Algiers terminated its contract at the end of October, against the backdrop of regional rivalries between the two Maghreb neighbors.
Tensions have recently increased, culminating with Algiers breaking off diplomatic relations with Rabat on August 24.
Since 1996, Algeria has shipped around 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year to Spain and Portugal via GME.
In return for the transit of the gas pipeline, Rabat received annually nearly one billion cubic meters of natural gas, or 97% of its needs. In 2020, the royalty for the transit of Algerian gas had brought Morocco about 50 million dollars (43.2 million euros), according to a Moroccan expert.
Algerian gas deliveries to Spain will now be made exclusively via the Medgaz submarine gas pipeline launched in 2011.
Following the non-renewal of the GME contract by Algiers, ONEE assured that the Algerian decision “would have only an insignificant impact on the performance of the national electricity system for the time being”.