Italy will acquire an additional 9,000 cubic meters of gas per year
The agreement comes after disagreements with the Spanish Government
Mario Draghi has begun to move to reduce Italy’s heavy dependence on Russian gas. On a lightning trip to Algeria, the Italian Prime Minister has reached an agreement whereby the North African country will supply him with some 9 billion additional cubic meters of gas per yearwhich will reach the Italian peninsula through the Transmed gas pipeline.
In exchange, Italy agrees to work on joint projects that develop “renewable energies and green hydrogen”, in addition to initiatives to generate “job opportunities” for Algeria. The pact comes after the disagreements of the Spanish Government with Algiers. “He had promised that Italy would move as quickly as possible” to lessen Rome’s dependence on Russian gas. “It is a strategic objective”, so much so that “there will be more agreements” of this type, Draghi stressed along these lines.
“This government wants to defend its citizens and its companies from the consequences” of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, said the Italian Prime Minister, in a brief press conference after meeting with the president of Algeria, Abdelmadjid Tebboune. Last year Italy acquired some 21,000 million cubic meters of gas from Algeria. The agreement signed by the two parties today will be launched by the Italian oil company ENI together with the Algerian Sonatrach.
Draghi’s trip to Algiers could be the first of many others, as the Italian Foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio, hinted a few days ago after traveling to Qatar and Azerbaijan. “Our goal is to strengthen energy cooperation”, affirmed Di Maio, who in the next few days could travel to Congo, Angola and Mozambique, other hydrocarbon producers.
The reasons are various. One of them is that Algiers, as well as other sellers of hydrocarbons, are considered countries close to Russia and with unstable political systems. In addition to this, the amount of gas that Italy needs to import from abroad is enormous: it is equivalent to 90% of the gas that Italy consumes (of which 40%, some 29,000 million cubic meters, came, until now, from Russia). Hence, despite everything, Italy’s path still looks uphill.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.