Italy's ENI ready to pay guarantee to unblock Russian gas

AFP , Monday 3 Oct 2022

Italian giant Eni said Monday it is ready to provide a 20-million-euro guarantee to restart deliveries of Russian gas through Austria, after a stoppage blamed on regulatory changes.

Italian energy company Eni
File Photo: The logo of Italian energy company Eni is seen at a gas station in Rome, Italy September 30, 2018. Reuters


The gas delivery was suspended Saturday because Russia's Gazprom failed to provide a newly-imposed guarantee to the carrier transporting it from Austria to Italy, Eni's CEO Claudio Descalzi said.

"We are seeing if we take over" and provide the 20 million euros, he said, adding that he hoped that "the problem can be resolved this week".

"The stoppage is absolutely not due to geopolitical reasons," Descalzi said on the sidelines of a Rome conference.

Speaking about Gazprom, he added that "it is difficult to imagine that a company that wants to pay in rubles can provide guarantees in euros."

Gazprom completely suspended gas deliveries to Eni on Saturday, citing the "impossibility of gas transport through Austria" due to a new regulation that came into force on October 1.

Most of Russian gas delivered to Italy passes via Ukraine through the Trans Austria Gas Pipeline (TAG), to Tarvisio in northern Italy on the border with Austria.

Before Saturday's suspension, Italy received some 20 million cubic metres of Russian gas per day, or "about nine to 10 percent" of its gas imports, Descalzi said.

That compares to 40 percent before Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February.

Outgoing Prime Minister Mario Draghi has signed new deals with other gas producers to reduce Italy's reliance on Russia, and has been racing to fill up the country's gas stores before winter.

Italy has already hit its target of filling its stores to 90 percent and is "in the process of increasing it", Ecological Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani said Sunday.

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