Russian energy giant Gazprom PJSC suspended natural gas deliveries to Eni SpA, Italy’s largest oil company, on Saturday, reported Bloomberg.
“Gazprom informed that it is not able to confirm the gas volumes requested for today, stating that it’s not possible to supply gas through Austria. Therefore, today’s Russian gas supplies to Eni through the Tarvisio entry point will be at zero. Eni will provide updates in case supplies will be restored,” Eni wrote in a statement on its website.
An Eni spokesperson told Bloomberg that Austria is still receiving NatGas from Gazprom:
“We are working to check with Gazprom whether it is possible to reactivate the flows to Italy.”
Gazprom said NatGas flows from Austria to Italy were suspended because the Austrian operator refused to confirm “transport nominations” after recent regulatory changes in the landlocked country in the southern part of Central Europe.
It’s important to note most of the Russian NatGas delivered to Italy flows through Ukraine via the Trans Austria Gas Pipeline to Tarvisio in northern Italy on the border with Austria. Before Russia invaded Ukraine, Italy imported 95% of its NatGas, of which 45% came from Russia.
Those figures are drastically different today as Italy rejiggers its energy supply chain away from Russia and finds alternative supplies of NatGas from North Africa. Before this weekend, Russian NatGas accounted for only 10% of Italy’s imports. The new suppliers will help Italy boost storage levels ahead of winter.
“Outgoing Prime Minister Mario Draghi has been scouring the globe to secure gas supplies to protect Italy from potential supply interruptions from Russia, which has been putting pressure on the European Union over several rounds of sanctions in response to the invasion. Italy has been one of the most successful countries to source alternative supplies,” Bloomberg noted.
Last week Gazprom said one of two remaining routes carrying NatGas to Europe — via Ukraine — was at risk because of legal issues.
Today’s news comes days after underwater explosions damaged Gazprom’s Nord Stream system in the Baltic Sea. And less than a day after Russia annexed four regions in Ukraine, as well as Ukraine, applied to join NATO.