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Algeria’s LNG Exports Rise As Europe Races To Replace Russian Gas 

Algeria’s exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) rose in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period of 2022, and the North African producer booked the highest LNG export growth rate among the Arab countries as Europe seeks to replace Russian pipeline gas supply.

Algeria’s LNG exports rose to around 2.8 million tons in the first quarter of 2023, up from 2.4 million tons during the same quarter of 2022, in which exports were below their usual levels, according to a report by the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) obtained by news outlet Attaqa.

Most of Algeria’s LNG shipments between January and March 2023 went to some of the largest European markets, such as France, as European countries are welcoming record levels of LNG cargoes to replace the lost Russian pipeline gas supply.

Algeria’s LNG exports are expected to further grow as the Skikda port expansion is nearing completion. The expanded port will have a second pier with a new LNG loading station suitable for super LNG carriers.

Italy’s energy major, Eni, has been particularly active in securing more natural gas supply for Europe from Africa and has fast-tracked projects in Africa to meet Europe’s gas demand in the absence of Russian pipeline deliveries.

Last month, Eni launched the construction works for the first natural gas liquefaction project in the Republic of the Congo, which is expected to supply LNG to Europe.

Early this year, Eni’s chief executive Claudio Descalzi told the Financial Times in an interview that Europe should look to Africa for a “south-north” energy axis that would deliver gas from Africa to the EU.

At the announcement of the 2022 results in February, Descalzi said, “During the year, we were able to finalize agreements and activities to fully replace Russian gas by 2025, leveraging our strong relationships with producing states and fast-track development approach to ramp-up volumes from Algeria, Egypt, Mozambique, Congo and Qatar.”

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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