Algerian natural gas exports fell 18% year-on-year to 24.7bcm for the first half of 2022, albeit from 2021’s record levels. The timing of the slump in volumes is far from ideal for Algeria’s core European customers given both their urgent desire to wean themselves off gas from top supplier Russia in the wake of the latter’s February invasion of Ukraine, and Russia’s subsequent threat to turn off the taps sooner rather than later.

With key European gas importers such as Italy and Germany desperate to bolster storage ahead of their peak winter demand season, the continent’s gas importers have looked far and wide for alternative supplies (MEES, 4 March). However, the sheer dependence of several importers on Russia makes replacing these volumes an impossible challenge, at least in the near-to-medium term. (CONTINUED - 1557 WORDS)