Mauritania Joins the Ranks of Gas Exporting Countries

Key gas-exporting nations meet in Algeria ahead of a summit expected to be attended by Qatar's Amir and the Iranian President.

The top gas-exporting countries held a ministerial meeting today, Friday, in Algeria, attended by Moscow, during which Mauritania’s membership in the coalition was announced, amid tensions in global markets since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and expectations of increased demand during the current year.

Ministers from the “Gas Exporting Countries Forum” met on the eve of a summit expected to be attended by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, alongside Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

The forum comprises 12 permanent members: Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela, in addition to seven observer members. Its members possess 70 percent of the world’s proven gas reserves and supply 51 percent of liquefied natural gas exports.

Algerian Energy and Mines Minister Mohamed Arkab emphasized the importance of conducting “continuous and serious dialogue between producers and consumers to build a common foresight vision recognizing the growing role of natural gas in the global energy mix, as a sustainable and competitive source that ensures energy security, provided better and fair valuation for all.”

The forum’s report on “Global Gas Outlook 2050” indicated that gas “will remain essential in the coming decades,” adding, “By 2050, natural gas demand is expected to increase by 34 percent, with its share in the global energy mix significantly rising from 23 percent currently to 26 percent.”

The Secretary-General of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, Mohamed Hamel, announced today, Friday, from Algeria, the accession of Mauritania and Senegal to the forum.

Mauritanian media reported that Nouakchott’s joining of the forum coincides with the country’s readiness to export the first gas shipment from the “Tortue/Ahmeyim large field” shared with Senegal in the last quarter of the current year. The Mauritanian government says that the discovered gas reserves in the country are estimated at more than 100 trillion cubic feet.

In its latest quarterly report issued in January, the International Energy Agency forecasted a significant increase in gas demand in 2024 compared to the previous year, attributing it to expectations of low temperatures and a decline in prices of this commodity.

The gas market has been under pressure since 2021 in the post-pandemic phase, compounded by geopolitical tensions following the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in early 2022. The past two years have seen a significant increase in liquefied natural gas exports via carriers from the United States to compensate for the sharp decrease in Russian gas exports to Europe via pipelines.

Russian Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov, representing his country at the summit, said that the expected announcement from the summit on Saturday would be “extremely important.”

He was quoted by the Algerian news agency as saying, “We have worked seriously on enriching the Algerian declaration, which will be extremely important in terms of coordinating around gas infrastructure and how to protect it from any accidents, as well as in terms of developing the forum’s policy and the possibility of new countries joining this energy body.”

Algeria is the largest natural gas exporter in Africa. Its exports have seen increasing demand from European countries, including Italy, eager to diversify their sources and compensate for shortages in imports from Russia.

American energy expert on North Africa Jeff Porter said, “Algeria sees itself as an international diplomatic player wanting to demonstrate that it is capable of bringing together countries with different orientations.”

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button
Verified by MonsterInsights