Spain aims to reduce dependence on Algerian gas via Qatar

Spain has signed several economic agreements with Qatar in order to strengthen the strategic relations with Doha, and in meantime secure its future of liquified natural gas from Qatar.

According to Spanish media, the state visit of the Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to Madrid which took 2 days at the beginning of this week, opened the door in front of solid economic cooperation.

The same sources added that Qatar plans to invest $5 billion in Spanish projects, the investments, mainly in technology and environmental projects, are due to be implemented within two to three years.

The Spanish government, according to local media, hopes that Spain would be among the countries that would benefit from the expected rise of natural gas production that Qatar plans for the next few years, in order to reduce dependence on Russian and Algerian gas due to the war in Ukraine and the diplomatic disagreements with Algeria.

However, Qatar is considered the fifth exporter of liquified natural gas to Spain after the United States, Algeria, Nigeria, and Egypt, as its exports represent 4,4% of the Spanish total gas imports.

Spain’s desire to strengthen its ties with Qatar came into the context of the crisis of the Russian-Ukrainian war, and the diplomatic dispute with Algeria due to the Moroccan Sahara issue.

Madrid has recently announced its support for the Moroccan autonomy plan for Sahara, while Algeria has voiced its rejection of this move, as Algeria is considered the biggest supporter of the ‘Polisario’ front that calls on for independence in the Sahara region.

Algeria has summoned its ambassador to Spain for consultation and threatened to cut off gas for Spain if the latter re-exported it to Morocco in a gesture that shows the frustration of the Algerian regime from the Spanish decision towards the Sahara issue.

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