• Ramzi Allen Alafandi

Italy v. Russia: The Politics of Gas



Italian energy giant Eni has promised to lessen the burden of dependence and has proclaimed Russian gas will be obsolete within three years, in part due to Russia's disheartening actions over their energy supply lines to Europe, as well as significant discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean and LNG projects in the works from Africa to the Middle East.

Eni's Chief Operating Officer Guido Brusco made the announcement to replace Russian gas by 2025 during a speech at the recent Gastech conference in Milan. According to Cristian Signoretto, Eni's deputy chief operating officer, the strategy will necessitate yearly spending of around $4.5 billion on upstream efforts across a number of nations and regions, including Algeria, Qatar, Egypt, and the Congo. By this, we may infer that he was alluding to the fact that Indonesia would serve as a pivotal asset battlefield with respect to LNG projects in Africa and the Middle East.

To supplement the additional 4 billion cubic meters of gas anticipated to be imported from Northern Europe, Eni projects that annual gas output in Algeria would expand by 100% within two years, reaching 18 billion cubic meters.

Eni said earlier this year that it will be investing seven billion euros yearly in its different businesses through 2025. Eni plans to take use of the cross-border natural gas resources in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Around 100 kilometers east of Cyprus, Eni and its French partner TotalEnergies revealed at the end of August a large gas find in a wildcat well. The partners are continuing to drill in the same offshore area after preliminary estimations indicated that the Cronos-1 well might hold up to 2.5 trillion cubic feet of gas in situ.

When Eni drilled Calypso-1 in Block 6 in 2018, they confirmed that the massive Zohr gas resources discovered in 2015 extended into Egyptian waters just outside the EEZ border. Since the discovery of Zohr, the biggest gas field in the Mediterranean, the nation has been able to quadruple its natural gas reserves and regain its energy independence, with surplus capacity to be exported as liquefied natural gas (LNG).

In order to eliminate Russia's monopoly on the global gas market, Eni is ready to act on its long-held goal.

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