Ougarta LNG carrier; Source: Sonatrach

Sonatrach hands over first LNG cargo to Croatia and seals natural gas deal with Slovenian firm

Algeria’s state-owned energy player Sonatrach has strengthened natural gas ties with Slovenia, thanks to an agreement with the country’s Geoplin. The firm has also delivered its first cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Croatia’s regasification terminal.

Ougarta LNG carrier; Source: Sonatrach

The Algerian player’s deal with Geoplin was negotiated within the framework of the natural gas purchase and sale contract linking the two companies. The signing ceremony, chaired by Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune on May 27, took place on the sidelines of the official visit Robert Golob, Slovenia’s Prime Minister, made to Algeria.

The deal the two companies have struck concerns the increase in the quantities of natural gas transported to Slovenia via the gas pipeline linking Algeria to Italy, constituting an additional step towards strengthening energy ties between Algeria and Slovenia. The agreement is expected to enable Sonatrach to consolidate its position in the Slovenian market while meeting the growing demand for natural gas in the European market.

“This collaboration not only strengthens Algeria’s presence on the international energy scene, but also demonstrates its commitment to extending bilateral economic cooperation topics to a more advanced level,” outlined the Algerian firm.

Signing ceremony; Source: Sonatrach

Meanwhile, Croatia received its first LNG cargo from Sonatrach at the KRK floating regasification terminal on May 22, 2024. This cargo, loaded from the GL3Z liquefaction complex in Betihoua, Algeria, and delivered aboard the Sonatrach-owned Ougarta LNG carrier, is perceived to be the result of close collaboration with stakeholders in Croatia since the commissioning of the terminal in 2021.

According to the Algerian company, the delivery of LNG cargo to Croatia is part of its strategy to diversify its gas exports. The firm explained that part of the regasified gas would be transported to Hungary through the Croatian gas network. While this allows Sonatrach to supply these two countries with natural gas for the first time, the firm intends to boost its exports to the region to consolidate its role in the security of Europe’s gas supplies.

To this end, Sonatrach also penned a series of new deals with TotalEnergies last year to bolster cooperation in more than one energy-related area, including natural gas production and the delivery of LNG supplies to Europe. The duo also extended their cooperation further by throwing the development of renewables into the mix in Algeria.