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    Morocco to Maintain Maghreb Europe Gas Pipeline

    Over 30% of the natural gas consumed in Spain is transported from Morocco.

    22 Aug 2021

    Rabat - Morocco has announced it is willing to continue operating the Maghreb Europe Gas Pipeline, whose contract will expire on October 31.

    The pipeline connects Algeria to Spain via Morocco.

    The General Director of the National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM), Amina Benkhadra, announced the decision to continue with the pipeline and re-affirmed that Morocco has consistently expressed a desire to maintain the export route.

    “It is our will, as we expressed it verbally and publicly in private discussions, always with the same clarity, and the same consistency,” she said.

    Benkhadra’s statement effectively denies any lingering claims or rumors that Morocco was considering terminating its ties with the Maghreb Europe Gas Pipeline.

    Benkhadra said that the pipeline is a “great tool for win-win cooperation and an example of a structuring and mutually beneficial regional project.”

    The official explained that the gas pipeline was built by Spain for the purpose of transporting Algerian gas to Europe through Morocco, under optimal security conditions.

    “This service is provided by staff and the Moroccan management of the company Metragaz, which is welcomed by all European stakeholders,” she said.

    Benkhadra’s declarations came amid reports, mainly from Algerian and Spanish news outlets, that Morocco would not participate in negotiations for renewing the pipeline’s contract upon the expiration of the current terms.

    In June, Spanish outlet El Mundo claimed that King Mohammed VI had decided to end negotiations for the renewal of the gas pipeline concession.

    El Mundo’s report came amid a diplomatic dispute between Spain and Morocco, after the Spanish government allowed Polisario leader Brahim Ghali to enter its territory for hospitalization in April.

    During the same period, Algeria’s state-owned oil company Sonatrach sought to reassure Spain about the renewal of the contract of the Maghreb-Europe Pipeline.

    Sonatrach CEO, Twefik Hekkar, said that the company is “taking all necessary measures” to take action in the event of the non-renewal of the contract.

    “Even in the event of non-renewal of this contract which ends next October, Algeria will be able to supply Spain, but also to respond to any additional demand from the Spanish market without any problem,” he argued.

    According to the website Europe Maghreb Pipeline limited (EMPL), over 30% of the natural gas consumed in Spain is transported through Morocco.

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