95% of the natural gas consumed in Italy “comes from abroad” . The hearing in the Chamber of the Minister of Ecological Transition, Roberto Cingolani, starts from this decisive figure, who rattles off the data on the country’s energy sector and the strong dependence – above all – on Russia: “Imports from Russia have increased – both in absolute value , which as a percentage of consumption – from around 20 bcm in 2011, corresponding to 25% of Italian consumption, to 29 bcm in 2021, reaching 38% of consumption “. We are, says the minister, almost totally dependent on imports, especially on the gas front, and in the last 10 years as regards national production “we have gone from 15 billion cubic meters in 2001 to 3 billion cubic meters in 2021” .In short, a reduction of one fifth of our local product . But Cingolani, and there for urgent information on the subject of energy price increases, and here it does not depend – he says – on the consequences of the war in Ukraine: “We are paying a price that has nothing to do with the cost of raw materials – he says – and the question is being examined by the European Union and by all member states. And the same, albeit to a lesser extent, also applies to fuel “.
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Fuel prices in a petrol pump Petrol: increased by 13%, between 10 and 14 March, diesel + 21%
The increases in fuel prices only partially reflect those of oil– continues Cingolani – that after hitting the price of 128 dollars on March 8, and dropped to 98 dollars in a week: but it is regularly observed that the adjustment of the price at the pump, to the price of crude oil is immediate, while the ‘adjustment to the reduction in the price of crude oil, is delayed “.” In the week from March 10-14, petrol increased by 13% and diesel by 21% “, adds the minister
., “Real gas import prices are influenced by decades-long contracts, with indexed prices: in March 2021 natural gas was selling at 20 cents per cubic meter, a year later: the cost went to 60 cents”, and this and an increase that Cingolani says “is to be considered because it is creating an increase across the entire price chain, with an unprecedented difference”.
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Headquarters European Commission Brussels A cap on the price of gas: the crux of the EU
Decisive to reach a European mechanism, which applies to all 27 countries, to give gas prices a ceiling, Cingolani announces the proposal of the Italian government: ” Measures structural with a temporary “price cap” at European level,“. This measure – which will be discussed in the Union between Thursday and Friday -” in addition to bringing direct benefits to gas consumers, would also bring significant benefits to the prices of the wholesale electricity market. “We are working every day with the Commission EU to study a capping mechanism (cap, ed) to bring together 27 countries with different needs : and the Commission says that by the end of the month we will have the second part of the Repower EU on imports, with general rules that will introduce market similar to the price cap, rules that do not allow wild cost increases “. Italy has a diversified transport system compared to others
According to the minister, the strong point, but not from an immediate perspective, is the Italian system, based on diversification: “From the point of view of import infrastructures, Italy has a diversified supply and transport system compared to to other EU member states – continues the minister – fueled mainly with gas produced abroad, and imported or transported by sea as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and unloaded at regasification terminals “. Even if the total of the import flows through the regasification terminals amounts to 13%.
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Gas pipeline Less needs with the end of the cold
The minister then illustrates the prospects for the coming months, with the expected improvement in the climate, where “a reduction in demand for civil use is estimated, equal to 40 million square meters per day , and already at the end of March in standard cold conditions “. Importantly, Cingolani underlines, even if” a complete interruption of flows from Russia occurs, which from today it should not lead to internal supply problems. ”
The closing of the tap of the Nord Stream gas pipeline from which all Putin’s gas arrives, and a perspective that no one wants to think about, due to the enormous consequences on the whole sector, but the minister puts his hands on because “any peak demand could be absorbed by appropriately modulating the volumes in storage or with other import capacity, even if – Cingolani admits – problems to ensure supply to all Italian consumers could occur only in the event of an exceptional cold spike, by the end of March, or contextual “disruptions” (redirection, ed) on other import routes “. “At least 3 years to achieve independence from Russia”
“Over the past few weeks, the government has implemented a series of initiatives aimed at reducing gas dependence on Russia by 20 billion cubic meters in the short and medium term”, this is the plan announced by the minister, including through a ” maximization of LNG terminals for an additional 6 billion cubic meters “. And then, but only in the long term, replace Russian gas with other sources: “In a minimum horizon of 3 years”.
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Luigi Di Maio meets Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, during the mission in Doha, Qatar
“Over the last few weeks, the Government has mobilized to activate measures with a short-medium term impact, also with missions in producing countries ( Qatar, Algeria, Angola, Congo), which are estimated to lead to a total reduction in dependence by about 20 billion cubic meters a year “. Thus the Minister of Ecological Transition, Roberto Cingolani, in a hearing in the Chamber. Two gasifier ships arrive
” Today – announces Cingolani – we have officially given to Snam, the address for the negotiation of the purchase of an FSRU unit and the rental of a second unit “. The FSRU – Floating Storage Regasification Unit – explains the minister” are regasification vessels, floating units anchored near ports and near the gas terminals, capable of transforming LNG , liquefied natural gas, cooled methane and in liquid form that arrives by ship, into gaseous methane to be fed into the network “.Competition with other countries for regasifiers
The government aims to increase the country’s regasification capacity by leveraging further “floating units anchored near ports”, which would be – concludes the minister – “achievable in 12-18 months from ‘obtaining the authorizations “: 16-24 billion cubic meters would be obtained, but the critical aspect” and arriving in time to contract the few existing ships capable of carrying out this service, to which operators and governments of various countries have directed “.

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