Historic ties with African nations will help Rome achieve its ambitious goal, the head of Eni says
Italy will be able to completely end its dependence on Russian gas imports only in about two years, Claudio Descalzi, the chief executive of Italy’s Eni, has told La Stampa, as quoted by TASS.
So far, Rome has managed to partially replace natural gas from Russia with fuel from other suppliers, Descalzi said, adding that some 30 million cubic meters out of 40 million cubic meters have currently been replaced.
Completely eliminating imports of Russian gas is not an easy task, Descalzi believes, because Italy hasn’t emphasized investment in domestic production for nearly eight years.
He said that the partial progress in replacing Russian supplies has been attributable to Italy’s historic ties with such nations as Egypt, Angola, Algeria, Congo, Mozambique, as well as in Libya, where Eni has continued operating and produces 70% of the gas for the domestic market.
Italy relies on imports for nearly 75% of its energy. In early 2022, it was receiving 40% of its gas from Russia before imports subsequently plunged due to sanctions on Moscow and the sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
Italy explains why it can’t abandon Russian gas
In October, Eni reported that Russian gas accounted for only around 10% of Italy’s imports. In order to diversify supplies, the government and Eni agreed to increase imports from African countries.
Official data released earlier this year showed that Italy now imports twice as much gas from Algeria than from Russia.
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