Gas and the government's plan is ready: resume extraction from the south

Diversification of supplies through new contracts to increase the incoming quantities of gas and LNG from alternative routes to the Russian route, to which an additional two billion cubic meters of national production must be added to be resumed from Sicily. Policies to reduce energy consumption, starting with public offices, but in the event of a gas shutdown in Moscow, could also lead to the separation of industrial users with a total saving, without compromising the system, of about 3 billion cubic meters per year in terms of no gas use. Again, another package of streamlining to speed up new green installations, as well as removing recent bottlenecks in terms of regional licenses and the green light for regulatory authorities.

Towards a new aid decree on Thursday

These will be the main axes of the comprehensive gas strategy that the government wants to present to the next cabinet. The meeting, with the exception of last-minute changes, will take place next Thursday and must reject the new decree while helping the economy which will also contain the new rules for intensifying the gradual release of the 29 billion cubic meters annually provided by Moscow. A process that is moving so quickly thanks to the commitment of Prime Minister Mario Draghi at the fore, that two days ago even the German newspaper Die Welt spoke of Italy faster than Germany in concluding agreements with other countries to become independent of Russian energy.

gas agreements

A series of agreements, from Algeria (ready to guarantee an additional 9 billion cubic meters per year from 2023) to the double win, just achieved by the delegation of Ministers Luigi Di Maio (foreign) and Roberto Singolani (environmental transformation), in Congo and Angola, which It will pass about an additional 2 billion cubic meters of gas already through TAP as of the end of this year, which is supposed to secure approximately 22.5 billion additional cubic meters of gas by the end of 2023. 2 will be added to those. An additional billion cubic meters of domestic gas the government would not be willing to speed up through a new decree to unblock drills that modify the perimeter outlined by Pitesai, the fields’ regulatory plan, but through a detailed modification.

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Contributions of deposits in the Adriatic

In short, a technical facilitation, thanks to which the areas adjacent to the Argo and Cassiopea projects in Sicily will not be included in the areas prohibited for extraction activities. In this way, the production will be able to restart from here (as the sector estimates indicate the potential in terms of reserves at 10 billion cubic metres), thus raising the national level, also due to the contribution made by other fields in the lower Adriatic, between the Marche and Emilia-Romagna.

The role of coal-fired power plants

The additional rush on Russia’s alternative gas front will be accompanied by the “buffer” guaranteed by coal-fired power plants. The path the CEO intends to take is to maximize the operation of the four power plants (Fusina, Torrevaldaliga, Brindisi of Enel and Monfalcone of A2A) that are not currently pumping at maximum cycles. By increasing the capacity to 100%, approximately 3.5 billion cubic meters will be saved annually due to the lack of gas use. But the process will remain timed: no more than two years and checks every six months.

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