The EU and Algeria look for new ways to increase Algerian gas supplies to Europe

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22 June 2007

The Algerian gas supplies to the EU could increase by 23,5 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year by 2010 if the common infrastructure projects currently under construction are achieved according to plan. This was one of the conclusions of the bilateral meeting that Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs had with his Algerian counterpart, the Minister of Energy and Mines, Chakib Khelil yesterday afternoon, in the margins of the EU-OPEC Ministerial that took place in Vienna (Austria). “Algeria has been a reliable supplier to the EU for more than 30 years, and we are looking forward to deepening our bilateral energy cooperation”, said Commissioner Piebalgs after the meeting.

Strengthening of cooperation with traditional suppliers was identified as one of the main priorities of the EU's external energy policy. Algeria is currently the third largest supplier of gas to the EU. In 2005 it exported more than 55 bcm (19.1% of the EU’s imports) and with the new developments planned it could increase its exports to 78,5 bcm. New gas may come through two new pipelines: Medgaz which would connect Algeria to Almeria on the south-east coast of Spain, and Galsi who would connect Algeria to Cagliari, Sardinia in Italy. Each pipeline would have a capacity of 8 bcm per year. A project to increase the capacity of an existing pipeline which links Algeria and Italy through Tunisia could add 7,5 bcm to current supplies.

The progress of these projects and the negotiation of a Memorandum of Understanding between Algeria and the EU were two of the main subjects of yesterday’s discussion between Commissioner Piebalgs and Minister Khelil. Both parties also talked about the dialogue between OPEC and the EU where Algeria takes over the Presidency later this year.

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