Gazprom reduces gas flows to Italy by 15%, Eni says
- Italy sources 40% of its gas from Russia
- Gazprom is also curbing gas supplies to Germany
- Gas cut has not created any critical issues - minister
MILAN, June 15 (Reuters) - Russia's Gazprom (GAZP.MM) cut its gas exports to Italy by around 15% on Wednesday from the previous day, Italian energy firm Eni (ENI.MI) said, adding no explanation had been given for the reduction.
The move comes as the Russian group is also curbing its gas supplies via the Nord Stream 1 undersea pipeline to Germany, blaming Western sanctions for disrupting repair works it needs to do on the network. read more
"Eni confirms that Gazprom has communicated a limited reduction in gas supplies for today, amounting to approximately 15%," a spokesperson said. Eni is constantly monitoring the situation, he added.
Italy last year sourced 40% of its gas imports from Russia, or around 29 billion cubic meters.
Like its European partners, Rome has been pushing hard to reduce its reliance from Russian energy since Moscow invaded Ukraine in February.
The process, however, needs time and the government has also been busy on the diplomatic front to try to find a way out of the conflict engulfing Ukraine.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi is expected to visit Kyiv together with French and German counterparts on Thursday.
'DO THE MATH'
On Wednesday, Italy's Ecological Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani tried to soothe concerns triggered by Gazprom's move, saying the reduction in gas had not created any critical issues.
"Gas flows from Russia are constantly monitored in cooperation with sector operators," Cingolani said.
The chief executive of Italgas, the country's biggest gas distributor, also urged calm.
"One should do the math before worrying," Paolo Gallo said, adding gas storage in Italy was relatively high, at above 52%.
Gas flows via Nord Stream 1 into Germany were unchanged at 44.9 million kilowatt per hour at 1500 local time from an hour earlier, data from the pipeline operator showed, after Gazprom said it was further reducing Nord Stream capacity.
The second supply capacity cut in as many days means that Nord Stream 1 will run at just 40% of its capacity .
On Wednesday, Israel and Egypt signed a framework agreement with the European Union pledging to boost gas exports to the bloc. read more
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