France Nears Deal With Algeria for More Natural Gas Imports

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French utility Engie SA is closing in on an agreement with Algeria for an increase in imports of natural gas, a deal that could come after an official visit to the country by President Emmanuel Macron.

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“Diplomatic negotiations are ongoing,” government spokesman Olivier Veran said Sunday on BFM TV, adding that an announcement could come shortly. Europe 1 radio first reported on the possible accord that could raise deliveries by about 50%. Veran declined to comment on the figure.

“There was a rapprochement during the visit,” he said. “The visit can’t be summarized by energy questions, even though in the current context the question of energy was on the table.”

Engie Chief Executive Officer Catherine Macgregor, who was part of Macron’s delegation, met with Algeria’s energy minister and the head of state-run Sonatrach, Europe 1 reported. France gets about 8% of its gas from Algeria, it said. 

An Engie spokesman declined to comment to Bloomberg. 

Algeria is Europe’s biggest gas supplier after Russia and Norway, including to France, and it has discovered new reservoirs that have drawn growing interest. The Algerian government recently signed deals with Italy for increased gas shipments.

Read more: France’s Le Maire in Gas Supply Talks With Algerian Officials

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