Twenty-five years after first delivering Algerian gas to Spain and Portugal via Morocco, the 11.5bcm/y Gaz-Maghreb Europe (GME) pipeline stopped flowing on 1 November. But exports haven’t ceased due to a technical issue. Rather, GME’s demise is the latest symptom of a decades-long rivalry between Algeria and Morocco.

The contract for Algeria to use the Moroccan section of GME to pipe gas to the Iberian Peninsula ended on 31 October, without a new deal for its continued use (MEES, 23 July). Negotiations between regional rivals Algeria and Morocco were always going to be challenging, but a recent worsening of relations effectively torpedoed any chance of an agreement (MEES, 27 August). (CONTINUED - 1041 WORDS)