Algeria's state-owned energy giant Sonatrach warned Friday it could increase the price of its gas sales to Spain, against the backdrop of a diplomatic row with Madrid over the disputed Western Sahara.
"Since the start of the Ukraine crisis, gas and oil prices have skyrocketed. Algeria has decided to stick, for all its customers, to relatively fair contract prices," Sonatrach CEO Toufik Hakkar told the national news agency APS.
"But a 'recalculation' of prices for our Spanish customer is not ruled out," he said.
Algiers last month recalled its ambassador from Madrid in protest at a decision by Spain, which is heavily dependent on Algeria for its gas supplies, to back a Moroccan autonomy plan for Western Sahara.
Algeria has condemned the "abrupt about-turn" by Madrid, which had previously sought to maintain neutrality in the decades-old conflict over the territory disputed by Morocco and the Algiers-backed Polisario Front independence movement.
Questioned on Europe's hunt for alternative energy suppliers in place of Russia, heavily sanctioned over its invasion of Ukraine, Hakkar said that Sonatrach could not at present substitute Russian gas.
But "with the pace of our exploration, our capacity will double in four years, which could open promising prospects with our European clients," the Sonatrach chief said.