Russia suspends natural gas supplies to Italy
Italian energy giant Eni said on October 1 that Russia’s Gazprom (Gazprom) has suspended gas deliveries to Eni, citing the inability to transit through Austria.
Eni said in a statement on its website that the supply of Russian natural gas at the Tarvisio terminal in Italy was zero on the 1st and this situation is expected to continue until the 3rd.
Gazprom said in a statement later in the day that the above-mentioned issues were related to a regulatory change in Austria at the end of September, when Austrian operators refused to approve Russian transit applications or disagreed with the amount of natural gas Russia planned to transport via Austria. Gazprom has been suspended. “Gazprom is working on this with Italian buyers.”
According to Agence France-Presse, most of Russia’s natural gas supplies to Italy are transported through the Trans-Austrian gas pipeline, which eventually reaches Tarvisio in northern Italy on the border with Austria.
The Austrian government said Gazprom had not signed the necessary contracts. In a statement, the Austrian Ministry of Energy said: “At the beginning of each gas year, various technical changes in the market model come into effect… For this, contracts need to be changed. Gazprom has not signed these contracts. Therefore, (Austria) cannot at this time. Accept the (Russian) gas transmission proposal. At the technical level, the problem is being solved at full speed.”
After Russia launched a special military operation against Ukraine on February 24, the European Union, together with the United States, imposed multiple rounds of sanctions on Russia, but the backlash of the sanctions made EU countries in a dilemma and the people were overwhelmed. Due to the sharp drop in Russia’s natural gas supply and the gas leakage on September 26, the two major Russian gas pipelines “Nord Stream-1” and “North Stream-2”, some EU countries had to take measures to deal with soaring gas prices rise.
According to Agence France-Presse, before the escalation of the Ukraine crisis, Russian gas accounted for 45% of Italy’s total gas imports. In order to reduce energy dependence on Russia, outgoing Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi signed an agreement with other natural gas suppliers. As of June, the proportion of Russian gas in Italy’s total natural gas imports fell to 25%. According to another source, that percentage is now down to around 10 percent.
In addition, 15 EU member states including Italy, France and Poland have recently signed a petition calling on the EU to set a price ceiling for imported natural gas. A special meeting of EU energy ministers on September 30 failed to agree on the proposals due to differences within the EU.