Italy to ramp up Angolan, Congolese gas supplies: press
Italy has secured additional gas volumes to offset its dependence on Russia after striking supply agreements with the governments of Angola and Congo-Brazzaville, Reuters reported March 13.
The foreign minister Luigi Di Maio touched down in the two African nations over the weekend alongside the CEO of Italian energy group Eni, Claudio Descalzi.
Following similar talks with Qatar and Algeria last week, Di Maio said the deal meant that "Italy's dependence on Russian gas" could be halved in "two months",
"We will no longer be dependent on Russian gas," Di Maio, who suggested the energy security situation could further improve before the winter heating season.
The 110 mn m3/day Transmed pipeline from Algeria to Italy is currently working at 55% of its capacity, leaving enough space to ramp up supplies. Italy also has three regasification terminals for receiving African LNG imports, in La Spezia (3.5bn m3/yr), Rovigo (8bn m3/yr) and Toscana (3.75bn m3/yr).
Italian energy groups Sorgenia and Iren said last week that a fourth 12bn m3/yr LNG unit at Gioia Tauro in southern Italy was likely to proceed.
Eni has been looking to scale up its Angolan oil and gas operations through a merger with fellow major BP, and on March 11 said that a deal had been finalised.
The newly-merged Angolan producer, called Azule Energy, is expected to have stakes in 16 licence areas, including Eni's operated stake in the exploration-stage Cabinda North and Centro, as well as BP's non-operated stake in the 5.2mn metric tons/year Angola LNG. With a daily output of around 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent, Azule Energy is set to become Angola's largest hydrocarbon producer, according to Reuters.
BP is also looking to buy Eni's stakes in the In Salah Gas and In Amenas developments in Algeria, with talks on this second deal still ongoing, Reuters reported on March 11.