Italy signs gas deal with Algeria to reduce dependence on Russia

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi is due to visit Algeria on Monday to sign a new gas supply deal as Rome seeks to reduce its reliance on Russian fuel after invading Ukraine.

It is the latest in a series of steps taken by European countries to secure alternative sources of fuel as they seek to cut Russia off the world economy as punishment for the war.

Italy buys around 30 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia annually, 40 percent of its total consumption. Algeria is Italy’s second largest supplier, supplying 21 billion cubic meters annually – about 31 percent of annual consumption.

An Italian government official said the trans-Mediterranean pipeline – which carries gas from Algeria to Italy via Tunisia – is operating at only two-thirds of its capacity of 33 billion cubic meters per year, giving Italy scope to quickly ramp up its purchases from Algeria.

“This can have immediate implications – you don’t have to build more pipelines or other new infrastructure,” the official said.

A third of the Russian gas shipped to Italy each year could be replaced by rapidly increasing imports from Algeria, the Italian official said.

Since invading Ukraine, Draghi has stressed that Italy urgently needs to diversify its energy supplies, especially given the risk that Russia could retaliate against EU sanctions by halting gas flows to Europe.

“Diversifying our energy supply is something we should strive for, regardless of what happens to Russia’s gas supply in the near future,” Draghi told lawmakers last month. “We can’t be so dependent on the decisions of just one country, that endangers our freedom, not just our prosperity.”

Last week, Lithuania was the first EU country to shut down Russian gas fully supplied, and the other two Baltic states also temporarily stopped their inflow.

Germany has said it will be “virtually independent” of Russian oil by the end of this year and gas by mid-2024. Berlin recently signed A long-term deal with Qatar for the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG), which Economy Minister Robert Habeck said would reduce Qatar’s dependence on Russian supplies.

EU leaders last month decided Buy natural gas collectively from other sources in bulk.

The Italian delegation, led by Draghi on Monday, will include Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio and Roberto Cingolani, Minister for Ecological Transition, as well as the head of Italian energy company Eni, which has close ties with Algerian energy company Sonatrach.

The Italian official said the deal would not only pave the way for increased purchases of Algerian gas, but would also include an agreement on larger Italian investments in renewable energy in the North African country, which could help it cut and relieve its own gas consumption more for export.

Di Maio has visited several energy producing nations in recent weeks and Cingolani has been working on how to accelerate the development of renewable energy sources. Italy signs gas deal with Algeria to reduce dependence on Russia

Adam Bradshaw

TheHitc is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button