Algeria has helped Europe diversify its energy supplies by pumping more gas to Italy, French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday during a visit to Africa’s top gas exporter.
Dismissing suggestions that Italy and France were “in competition” for Algerian gas, Macron welcomed a deal Algeria signed last month to pump more gas to Italy.
The deal is “good for Italy, it’s good for Europe and it improves the diversification of Europe,” he told reporters.
European nations have been scrambling to reduce their reliance on Russian energy since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine six months ago.
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Italy’s Eni, US major Occidental, France’s Total and the Algerian group Sonatrach signed a $4 billion, 25-year oil and gas production-sharing contract last month that will provide Rome with “significant volumes of natural gas,” Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said at the time.
An Algerian government source also said the North African country would increase gas exports to Italy by four billion cubic meters.
Italy buys the majority of its natural gas from abroad, with about 45 percent of its imports historically coming from Russia.
Since February it has sought to boost supplies from Algeria, which has a pipeline through which it can pump gas to Italy.
Algeria supplies around 11 percent of the natural gas consumed in Europe.
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