“Escalating rivalry between Algeria and Morocco closes the Maghreb-Europe pipeline”, Francis Ghilès (CIDOB, Barcelona)

A 1,600-kilometre pipeline which lies empty is an unusual sight. All the more so when it links two continents (Africa and Europe) and four countries (Algeria, Morocco, Spain and Portugal). The crisis in the Maghreb has parallels with the recurring tensions between Russia and Ukraine which pushed Russia to build the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines to avoid depending on transit through Ukraine. Except that in Algeria’s case, the Medgaz which links Algeria directly to Spain via the Mediterranean Sea already exists. However, as from 1 November, Algerian gas is no longer exported to and through Morocco, through the Maghreb-Europe Gas Pipeline (also known as Pere Duran Farell pipeline) which has been up and running since 1996. The gas sales agreement between Algeria and Morocco expired on the same date as the transit contracts linking Spain and Portugal to Morocco, as well as Algeria’s gas sales contracts via the Maghreb-Europe Gas Pipeline (MGE).

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