The Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, boosts energy relations with Algiers in the midst of a government crisis

Algeria agrees $4bn gas contract with Italy

PHOTO - Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune receives Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi in Algiers, 18 July 2022

The President of Algeria, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, announced on Monday in Algiers that an agreement worth 4 billion dollars will be signed tomorrow, Tuesday, "which will allow Italy to supply very large quantities of natural gas"

Tebboune announced during a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi that "tomorrow an important agreement will be signed with Occidental, Eni and Total", American, Italian and French companies, respectively. 

The Algerian leader said he hoped to renew "with his friend, Prime Minister Draghi, the proposal" to make Italy "one of the suppliers of solar and conventional electricity in Europe"

The Maghreb country has displaced Russia as Italy's main gas supplier, which is seeking to further reduce its independence from Moscow.

Draghi, on an official visit to Algiers to take part in the 4th Italian-Algerian intergovernmental summit, confirmed "a privileged partnership" in the energy sector.

"In recent months, Algeria has become the main supplier of gas to our country and the announcement of 4 billion cubic metres of gas in the last few days represents an acceleration compared to the agreements and anticipates even more conspicuous supplies in the coming years," said the transalpine premier.

Draghi Tebboune

Algeria is already a key trading partner of Rome, a position that will be reinforced with the signing on Tuesday of a contract to increase its gas supplies through the Transmed pipeline, which reaches the Sicilian town of Mazara del Vallo via Tunisia. 

Algerian hydrocarbon company Sonatrach announced three days ago that it will increase its gas shipments to Italy from next week with an additional 4 billion cubic metres, adding to the nearly 14 billion cubic metres supplied so far this year.  

An increase represents 113% of planned volumes and the Maghreb country expects to increase to 6 billion cubic metres before the end of the year to "further strengthen the historic ties" between the two companies. 

The former president of the European Central Bank and tenant for the past year of Palazzo Chigi, the residence of the Italian head of government, travelled to Algiers accompanied by his Foreign Minister, Luigi di Maio, in the midst of a government crisis following the struggle of the populist 5 Star Movement, a partner of the government.