The Algerian company Sonatrach announces its support for the Tunisian company STAG and gives it a preferential price of $65 instead of $115 per ton of gas.
Social media users from the MENA region are sharing a claim which states that the Algerian state-owned oil and gas company, Sonatrach has announced its support for the Tunisian company STAG. The claim adds that Sonatrach has decided to give them a preferential price and charge them $65 instead of $115 per ton of gas.
Photo Description: A screenshot of the circulating claim.
Misbar investigated the claim and found it to be fake. The Algerian oil company Sonatrach did not announce its support for the Tunisian Electricity Company (STAG), nor did it grant it a different price for a ton of gas. No official sources from the two companies released statements on the claim. Moreover, no credible media publishers reported on this claim.
The Possibility of a Price Increase at 4.5 Billion Dinars
According to Reuters, Tunisia's bill for buying gas from Sonatrach may reach 4.5 billion dinars ($1.5 billion) this year, while the domestic and external consumption bill may reach $2.6 billion with the sharp increase in prices. The Director General of Electricity and Energy Transition at the Ministry of Industry, Energy, and Mines, Belhassen Chiboub, told the agency, on Thursday, May 19, that Tunisia and Algeria are linked to a differential price agreement, but if the current global price is adopted, the bill due to Algeria will rise from an expected 3 billion dinars to 4.5 billion dinars this year.
Photo Description: A screenshot of the news of increasing gas prices.
Did Algeria Refuse to Extend Gas Supply to Tunisia?
The claims came after news circulated that Algeria refused to supply Tunisia with gas, which Belhassen Chiboub denied to Mosaique FM radio on Wednesday, May 18, as seen in the screenshot below.
Photo Description: Image of the show where Belhassen Chiboub denied that Algeria refused to supply Tunisia with gas.
Chiboub explained that the natural gas supply contract that brings the Tunisian company and Sonatrach together includes clear clauses related to the tariff. He assured that there is no crisis between Tunisia and Algeria, pointing out that the problem lies in Tunisia's request for varying additional quantities in addition to the contractual quantities. Adding that Algeria is not obligated to supply these additional quantities and that they require technical programming. "Algeria cannot respond immediately to our request because of the Ukrainian crisis, pressure on gas, and others," he said.
Therefore, Misbar’s team confirms that the circulating claim is fake.
Translated by Dina Faisal