Italy risks state of alert due to low gas supply: press
The government of Italy could raise its gas emergency alert to the second highest level next week if gas quantities from Russia's Gazprom continue to dwindle, as they have done in recent days, Reuters reported June 17.
Following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, Italy implemented a three-stage gas emergency alert system to protect industry and consumers. It seems Italy will now move to the second stage, known as a "state of alert", if there is a further deterioration in gas flows.
This would involve demand-side measures to curb gas consumption, for instance reserving gas for vital industrial plants, and asking Italian coal power plants to increase power output. Rome will also look to step up gas deliveries from non-Russian suppliers.
The first stage of the alert - known as the "pre-alert" stage - was announced in late February. A state of emergency is the final and most serious alert.
Gas flows from Germany to France were halted on June 15, and there has been a similar curtailment in Gazprom's deliveries to Germany and Italy. Eni revealed earlier today that Gazprom would supply just 50% of its requested 63mn m3/day offtake, according to media reports.
Gazprom has blamed the steep drop in gas flow via the Nord Stream pipeline on technical difficulties at the Portovaya compressor station, including Siemens' failure to return on time equipment sent off for repairs because of sanctions. The company has made no suggestion that it intends to formally break off gas supply contracts with Italy, Germany or France, as it did over its ruble-payments policy with Poland, Bulgaria, Finland and Denmark.
The curtailments also coincide with France, Germany and Italy, the three largest EU members by population, endorsing Ukraine's bid for bloc membership.