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Italy Makes Headway In Reducing Its Reliance On Russian Natural Gas

As Europe tries to kick the Russian energy habit, Italy is making significant headway in severing its reliance on Russian natural gas—even more headway than Germany. Italy has reduced the mix of Russian gas mix as part of the total imported to just 25%, according to Bloomberg.

That’s down from 40% in January, well before Russia invaded Ukraine.

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Meanwhile, Germany still imports 35% of its total gas imports from Russia, with the United States and Qatar only able to supply 30 billion cu m of nat gas equivalent to Europe combined. For comparison, Europe imports 150 billion cu m annually.

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Germany has big plans to reduce its dependency on Russian energy, though. According to Joerg Kukies, Germany’s deputy finance minister, Germany will stop importing Russian coal entirely starting in just two weeks. It also has plans to kick its Russian oil habit completely by December 31.

Of course, Italy’s reduction in natural gas exports from Russia is helped along in no small part by Gazprom reducing its flows to Italy by one-third, to just 21 million cubic meters of natural gas per day, down from more than 60 million cubic meters before June, when Gazprom started to reduce the flow.

Germany should also be boosted along its quest to reduce its reliance on Russian natural gas starting this week, as Russia’s Nord Stream 1 pipeline shuts for maintenance for at least 10 days. Europe worries that the flow of gas could be shut off for even longer—a retaliatory move for their sanctions against Russia. Talk of a price cap on Russian oil by the EU and the United States could further incite Russia to curb the flow of gas into Europe as it tries to refill its nat gas storage ahead of winter.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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