Spain’s entanglement in the Moroccan-Algerian dispute highlights the limits of European gas integration [Gas in Transition]

Summary

There are limits to the short-term support that can be given to the Spanish and Moroccan markets, but the two countries are now expected to plan for the 2022-2023 heating season. [Gas in Transition, Volume 1, Issue 8]

through: Jennifer DeLay

The EU has made considerable efforts to integrate the energy markets of its 27 Member States, and its efforts have been crowned with success. Regarding natural gas, for example, the European Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) noted in a report published in mid-July 2021 that the integration process was well advanced within The union. “The markets representing three quarters of the EU’s gas consumption are assessed today as functioning well and sufficiently integrated,” he writes. “Other jurisdictions with some of the historically least developed hubs are also showing promising signs of progress.” This is an impressive achievement, considering the amount of gas involved. In total, the 27 EU Member States consume more than 400 billion m3 / year of gas. However, integration is not the same as invulnerability. Since the publication of the ACER report, the EU has started to experience a gas supply crisis. The two most obvious reasons for the crisis are the resurgence in global demand for gas, which fell last year due to the Covid-19 crisis.