Gazprom resumes gas exports to Italy via Austria

An employee walks at the office of Gazprom Neft company in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia August 30, 2022. REUTERS/Olesya Astakhova

MILAN, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Russian energy giant Gazprom (GAZP.MM) resumed gas exports to Italy via Austria on Wednesday after resolving an issue over guarantees that had led to the suspension of flows over the weekend.

Gazprom said the company and its Italian customers had found a solution following regulatory changes in Austria which halted flows entering Italy via a pipeline passing through Tarvisio in the northeast of the country.

Italian energy group Eni (ENI.MI) confirmed in a statement on Italy's GME platform that supplies had resumed although it said it expected only part of the gas requested to arrive on Wednesday.

"The resumption of supplies was made possible by the resolution, by Eni and the parties involved, of the constraints deriving from the new legislation introduced by the Austrian regulatory authorities," the Italian company said in a separate statement on its own website.

It did no give any further details.

Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said on Monday that the suspension of flows was not down to "geopolitical factors".

"It is due to the fact that Gazprom would have to pay a monetary guarantee for the transport of gas from Austria to Italy that was not there before," he said, adding that the guarantee amounted to 20 million euros ($19.6 million).

Moscow and several European countries, including Germany, have been at loggerheads over the supply of natural gas from Russia since the country's invasion of Ukraine in February.

The Kremlin controlled company said on Saturday that gas transit through Austria had been suspended. The Austrian government said Gazprom had not signed the contracts needed.

Russian gas now accounts for only around 10% of Italian gas imports, down from around 40%, Eni said, while the share from Algeria and the Nordics has increased.

Reporting by Francesca Landini in Milan; editing by Keith Weir and Jane Merriman

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