Germany Willing to Its Reduce Energy Dependence on Russia with Help of Africa: Experts

Azerbaijan, Baku, 21 July/ Trend , corr A. Badalova/ Germany intends to import a gas from Algeria in order to reduce its dependence from the supply of hydrocarbon from Russia, the international analysts interviewed by Trend said.

Last week, during his first official visit to Algeria the German chancellor Angela Merkel expressed Germany's wish to enhance cooperation with the North African state in the sphere of gas. Merkel said during the meeting with President of Algeria Abdelaziz Bouteflika that his state is the third largest gas supplier to Europe; however Germany does not purchase Algerian gas. The national oil and gas company of Algeria Sonatrach is one of the large gas suppliers to Europe.

According to the German political expert and director of Russia and CIS program of the Foreign Policy Council of Germany Alexander Rar, Germany is looking for an alternative for the Russian gas.

" Germany is willing to diversify purchase of the Russian gas. Nabucco gas pipeline may not be constructed and funds may not be collected for it. Iran can also join it, but Americans oppose it," Rar said to Trend by e-mail.

According to Rar, Germany is interested in the policy of French President Nicola Sarkozy on the Union for Mediterranean. In mid-July, Union for Mediterranean was established in Paris conference at the initiative of French president. The Union seeks to unite EU member states possessing access to the Mediterranean Sea.

"Naturally, EU starts this initiative toward Maghreb to realize energy projects with Algeria, Libya and other countries," Rar said. The Maghreb countries include Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunis and Libya.

According to Elena Savchik, the analyst on oil and gas of Renaissance Capital investment group, EU and other countries of the Old World are very concerned about the energy dependence from Russia and therefore, they make every effort to reduce it. This issue is of political character, Savchik said by telephone to the special correspondent of Trend on 21 July.

" Germany as any other European state will do its best to diversify its import of hydrocarbon, but whether it will be success - it is a separate issue," Savchik said.

According to Savchik, Germany's importing gas from Africa is a search for any opportunities, though the key point is the supply.

"The problem of Europe is that no one is likely to replace Gazproms' supplies," analyst said.

The Russian natural gas makes up 40% of Germany's import. Germany also purchases gas from Norway. Recently, head of the Russia's gas monopolist Aleksey Miller said that the price of the oil supplied to Europe will rise from $410 to $500 for cubic meters from 1 January 2009 on.

According to Savchik, Gazprom puts up gas prices, not because it is monopolist, but because, it is the rule of market.

"The oil prices will raise all over the world from 2009 as a gas directly depends on oil prices. Germany and other European countries are less likely to be able to pay less for any other gas," Savchik said.

A. Gasimova and R. Agayev also contributed to this article.

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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