Algeria rejects European cap on gas prices
By Hassan Jibril
ALGIERS, Algeria (AA): Algeria on Tuesday rejected a European cap on gas prices Tuesday, warning that the move will destabilizing the energy market.
“Algeria does not support the idea of capping prices. The energy market must be free to continue investments and projects,” Algerian Energy Minister Mohamed Arkab told a press conference with Franziska Brantner, Secretary of State at the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection.
The Algerian minister warned that a gas price cap would affect the flow of investments and production.
“The development of investments depends on transparent and non-discriminatory legal frameworks supported by clear energy, financial and environmental policies in gas-consuming and transit countries,” he added.
“We, with our partners in Germany and Europe, fully agree on providing the continent with energy, especially with gas,” Arkab noted.
[An infographic titled “Gas storage withdrawals accelerate in Europe due to cold weather” made in Ankara, Turkiye on December 15, 2022. Photojournalist: Yasin Demirci/AA]
The minister also voiced Algerian concerns about “the use of the climate issue in discriminatory practices, and the implementation of measures related to barriers at the borders.”
On Monday, EU energy ministers agreed on a gas price cap of €180 ($190) per megawatt/hour (MWh) which will apply from 15 February and run for a year.
The gas price cap has divided the 27-nation EU bloc as some countries, including Germany, Europe’s biggest economy and biggest consumer of gas, fear the price cap will make it harder to get supplies in competitive global markets.
Algeria’s gas exports mostly to Europe reached 56 billion cubic meters in 2022, around 11% of the gas consumed in Europe.
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.
Russia, for its part, said it will respond to the EU move, stressing that it “will not recognize any ceilings.”
*Ikram Imane Kouachi contributed to this report
Additional report by The Muslim News