The war in Donbass continues to blast large chunks out of the Ukrainian economy, but 2,000 miles away in Algeria the conflict has thrown up an opportunity for increased growth, and helped revive a long-stalled, world-scale, midstream hydrocarbons project.

International tensions caused by the Ukrainian conflict have sent Europe scrambling to reduce its energy dependency on Russia and the $3bn Galsi gas pipeline from Algeria to Italy is now due to see final investment decision on 30 November after years of malaise.

The front-end engineering and design (feed) carried out by the UK’s JP Kenny and France’s Sofregaz has long been completed and letters of intent for gas sales from the pipeline were signed back in 2006. The project lost momentum, however, as cheap gas from Russia reduced European demand for Algerian energy.

Now the project is back in fashion, but the winds of international conflict that breathed new life into Galsi are fickle and there may be more delays to come.

Although Algeria is not seeing a Ukraine-style civil war, it is no stranger to unrest. The terrorist attack on the In Amenas gas facility in January 2013, which saw 39 foreign hostages killed, sent a shockwave through the country’s oil and gas sector.

Risk of more unrest is increasing as President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s health deteriorates and the country’s political elite manoeuvre ahead of a possible messy succession. If there are riots or terror attacks, this will further undermine Algeria’s reputation as a reliable natural gas supplier and encourage gas-hungry European nations to look elsewhere for their hydrocarbons.

To maximise its gains, the country needs to prioritise projects to increase production, while ensuring corruption and inefficient processes do not sap the appeal of Algerian gas. But even if Algiers does everything possible to ensure production is increased, one key prerequisite to a boom in Algerian exports is beyond the country’s control.

Wars are unpredictable and if the Ukrainian conflict dies down for any reason, or the EU lifts sanctions on Russia, this will cut demand for Algerian gas supplies, reducing enthusiasm for the Galsi project.