Gas giant Algeria criticises EU gas price cap
Algeria "doesn't support the idea of limiting prices", Energy Minister Mohamed Arkab said, speaking a day after EU energy ministers agreed a temporary ceiling to mitigate a severe energy crunch following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"Energy markets must stay free so upstream so investments can continue, he told a press conference, according to the official APS news agency.
"Algeria is seen as a reliable and secure supplier to Europe and we are in full agreement with our European partners on long-term pricing," he added.
The EU price cap, agreed Monday after months of negotiations, will apply from February 15 and run for a year.
EU countries are worried that they will have a hard time filling gas storage tanks in time for next winter.
The ceiling will be triggered if the European benchmark price for natural gas futures goes above 180 euros (around $190) per megawatt hour for three consecutive days.
Russia, which used to be the top exporter of gas to the EU, has turned off the taps in retaliation for a series of crippling sanctions against it designed to deplete its income used for its war.
The Kremlin has also bitterly criticised the mechanism.
Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Algeria supplied around 11 percent of the gas consumed in Europe.
A steady stream of European officials have visited Algeria in recent months to seek supply deals to help reduce dependence on Russia.