Spain begins gas re-exports to Morocco via GME pipeline
Spain has begun re-exporting gas to Morocco in reverse flow via the GME pipeline, data from Spanish gas grid operator Enagas showed June 29, marking the first direct flow of piped gas from Europe to Africa. S&P Platts report it.
The flow of gas southwards through the GME pipeline -- which previously was used to send Algerian gas via Morocco to Spain -- started at 10:00 am local time (0800 GMT) on June 28, with a total of 1.1 mcm of gas exported.
A further 83 tcm is expected to flow across the link on June 29, the data showed. Spain and Morocco agreed earlier this year to consider using the GME pipeline for reverse flow to the North African country with the gas to be sourced from the global LNG market.
The grid operator did not detail where the gas for the first exports was supplied from, though two LNG tankers were unloaded over the weekend of June 25-26 at the nearest ports of Huelva and Cartagena, according to Enagas data.
Morocco was cut off from Algerian gas supply -- previously its only external source of gas -- in November last year. Algeria previously supplied gas directly to Morocco via the GME link, partly in lieu of payment for transit, with deliveries seen at some 1 bcm/year.
Relations between Algeria and Spain have also worsened in recent months after Madrid in March altered its position regarding the autonomy of the Western Sahara region, reversing a decades-old policy of neutrality.
Spanish gas remains among the cheapest of Europe's traded gas hubs thanks in large part to its access to global LNG via its six operational LNG terminals.