On the gas front, Italy risks the squeeze, but perhaps manages to avoid it. Russia has cut off supplies in retaliation for our support for Ukraine. Storage for the winter has slowed, and this could force the government to move from the current state of early warning on gas to one of alarm. But that’s not necessarily the case: supplies from other countries have increased, and could offset the Russian gas cut. The Ministry of Ecological Transition will make a decision this week, but there is cautious optimism in the government: it is possible that nothing will change. To examine the situation, the Emergency Technical Committee and Natural Gas Monitoring will meet tomorrow at the MITE. There will also be the energy authority Arera and the two main energy transport companies, Snam and Terna. Then, on Wednesday, Minister Roberto Cingolani will see Eni, Enel and the other energy companies. After that, he will decide what to do.
Going from the gas pre-alarm state to the alarm state would not change much. The government would not adopt coercive measures (cuts in supplies and consumption): these are foreseen only at the next level, the emergency one. Even in alarm, the interventions would be up only to the energy companies: increase in imports, stop to interruptible supplies, use of alternative fuels. At the alarm level, the only difference is that the MITE could ask Snam to reduce supplies to industries, applying contracts for the “voluntary containment of demand”. According to government sources, in the meetings tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, the executive will assess the weight of the new gas inflows from alternative suppliers to Gazprom. There may be no decision this week whether or not to raise the alarm level. Simply, because there will be no need. According to the Snam site, today the flow of methane at the Tarvisio (Udine) crossing, where the gas pipeline arrives from Russia, has remained constant, after last week’s cut. Today it is expected that 34.2 million cubic meters will enter: last Friday they were 34.7.
On the other hand, the flow from Algeria to Mazara del Vallo has increased: on Friday it was 64.3 million cubic meters, today it has risen to 74.3. Supplies from the Tap gas pipeline from Azerbaijan to Melendugno (Lecce) also rose, from 28.4 million on Friday to 29.2 today, and also those from the Livorno regasification plant, from 9.7 million to 13.8. The production of the two other regasifiers, Cavarzere (Rovigo) and Panigaglia (La Spezia), remained stable. Overall, today 207.1 million cubic meters of methane are put on the network in Italy, against a daily national demand of 156.3 million. In storage, therefore, 25.3 million can be reached. These numbers, the result of the government and Eni’s efforts to find new suppliers, especially in Africa, could perhaps prevent Italy from cutting off natural gas for industries. However, the gas situation remains serious. Today on the Amsterdam stock exchange the value reached 126 euros per magawatt hour, with an increase of 7.02%. The Kremlin claimed it had reduced the supply through the Nord Stream gas pipeline because, due to the sanctions, EU companies did not return the turbines for maintenance. No one in the Union believes this explanation. Also because Ukraine has offered to increase its transit capacity to compensate for the decline in Nord Stream, but Gazprom refused for “technical reasons”. “It is a sort of tug of war -, commented the German Minister of Economy, Robert Habeck – with Vladimir Putin having the longest arm”.