Written by 5:54 pm Economy

Spain’s natural gas exports to Morocco surge by 61.9%

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Natural gas exports from Spain to Morocco soared by 61.9% in January 2024 compared to the same period in the previous year, marking a significant shift in North Africa’s energy landscape, according to data from the Corporation for Strategic Reserves of Petroleum Products (Cores). 

In total, Spain sent over 868 gigawatt hours (GWh) of gas to Morocco in January 2024, highlighting Morocco’s increasing reliance on Spanish gas exports.

This dramatic rise is fueled by a recent diplomatic realignment between the two countries.

From January 2023 to last January, exports reached 9,804 GWh, which is 51% higher than what was sent to Portugal. For the first time, Spain also sent 1 GWh of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Moroccan ports. 

Spain exports most of its goods to France (50%), followed by Morocco (13.8%), Portugal and Italy (9.1% each), and Puerto Rico (5.5%).

Prior to June 2022, Algeria was Morocco’s primary gas supplier through the Maghreb-Europe pipeline. 

However, a diplomatic rift severed gas flows through the pipeline, leaving Morocco in a precarious energy position. 

Spain emerged as a lifeline, offering its regasification facilities and pipeline network to deliver natural gas purchased by Morocco on the global market.

This innovative solution has transformed Spain into Morocco’s top gas supplier, surpassing even France. 

The agreement, however, is not without its challenges. Wary of its gas indirectly reaching Morocco, Algeria threatened to halt its own supplies to Spain. 

To navigate this delicate situation, Spain ensures only non-Algerian gas reaches Morocco. This meticulous process involves regasifying liquefied natural gas (LNG) purchased by Morocco in Spanish facilities before sending it back through the pipeline.

While Spain still has some dependence on Russian gas, its strategic location and robust infrastructure provide flexibility. 

The extensive network of regasification plants and existing pipeline connections allow Spain to source gas from a variety of suppliers. 

This diversification strategy safeguards Spain’s energy security while fulfilling its gas supply commitment to Morocco.

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