Rabat – Moroccan purchases of gas from Spain through the Maghreb-Europe pipeline have increased by up to 1,200%, Spanish news outlet The Objective reported on Friday.
Data provided by Spanish gas operator Enagas in June 2022 said Spain was exporting 60 gigawatt hours to its neighbor in North Africa through the pipeline, while records from March 2023 show an amount of 820 gigawatt hours (GWh).
The increase was a gradual one since the pipeline resumed its services in June of last year, the outlet detailed, breaking down the monthly export numbers since then.
July 2022 saw 172 GWh being exported, which went down to 119 GWh in August before increasing slightly again to 123 GWh in September.
October saw a big increase, reaching 328 GWh before staying around the 500 GWh mark until January, and then increasing again to 680 GWh in February.
The increase is in line with the substantially improved trade relations between the two countries since Spain voiced its support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan for Western Sahara.
According to The Objective, one factor in the increased gas imports from Spain is that the European country considers Morocco as a local buyer from within its territory, meaning that Spanish gas prices are much more competitive for the country.
Algeria had ended the contract for the pipeline in October 2021, a few months after unilaterally cutting its diplomatic ties with Morocco.
Enagas later announced that it was launching the natural gas flow in the pipeline from Spain to Morocco, stressing that the exported gas did not come from Algeria.
“A certification process guarantees that this gas is not of Algerian origin,” an Enagas spokesperson said in June 2022, in response to Algerian concerns that Spain would export its gas to Morocco.