Algeria signs gas supply deal with Slovenia
Algeria's state energy firm Sonatrach on Tuesday signed a three-year deal to sell gas to Slovenia via a pipeline through Italy from January.
The agreement with Geoplin comes as Europe scrambles to replace Russian energy supplies following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
The deal will allow Sonatrach "to contribute to satisfying the demand for natural gas on the European market," the Algerian firm said in a statement.
It also "strengthens the role of Algeria as a reliable long-term supplier of the European market," the company added.
The statement did not indicate the quantity of gas involved, but media in Slovenia have reported it would be around 300 million cubic metres per year.
Minister @tfajon and Minister @mzi_rs Kumer witnessed the signing of the gas supply contract between Algeria's Sonatrach and Geoplin: "MFA Slovenia will continue to open the door to #EconomicCooperation between #Slovenia and #Algeria."— MFA Slovenia (@MZZRS) November 15, 2022
The eastern European country is heavily dependent on Russian gas, but Moscow has shut its pipelines to Europe in suspected retaliation for Western sanctions.
The deal is the latest in a string of such accords with European firms despite experts casting doubt on whether Algeria has the capacity to meet them.
Algerian gas exports to Europe via the TransMed pipeline were up 13 percent in the first nine months of the year compared to the same period of 2021, hitting 17.3 billion cubic metres, according to the Middle East Economic Survey, a trade publication.
Slovenian Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon attended the signing ceremony along with her Algerian counterpart Ramtane Lamamra.