Italy’s Eni pens new Algerian gas deal

Italy’s Eni pens new Algerian gas deal

Italy’s Eni pens new Algerian gas deal

Italian energy giant Eni signed a memorandum of understanding on May 26 with Algeria’s Sonatrach to boost gas exploration in the north African nation, as Rome seeks to reduce its reliance on Russia.

It was penned during a state visit by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune to Rome, a few weeks after Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi made his own trip to Algiers.

"Every time production increases, we will be able to supply it to Italy, which can then send it to the rest of Europe," Tebboune said after meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

"As far as electricity is concerned, we have agreed with our Italian friends to set up a submarine cable from Algeria to Italy."
Mattarella hailed the two countries’ long strategic partnership, adding: "We are grateful for Algeria’s efforts to strengthen this

The MoU "will allow Sonatrach and Eni to evaluate the gas potential and opportunities for accelerated development at specific fields already discovered by Sonatrach in Algeria", Eni said in a statement.

The volumes of gas expected from the areas covered by the deal amount to about three billion cubic meters per year, it said.
They "will contribute to increasing the export capacity of Algeria to Italy through the Transmed pipeline" which runs undersea.
The MoU also covers the technical and economic evaluation for a green hydrogen pilot project in Bir Rebaa North in the Algerian desert, the statement said.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, triggering unprecedented Western sanctions against Moscow, Italy has been pushing to cut its reliance on Russian gas.

Italy buys the majority of its natural gas from overseas, and more than 40 percent of its imports coming from Russia.
In April, Draghi announced a deal to boost Algerian deliveries to Italy through the Transmed pipeline by up to nine billion cubic metres per year by 2023-24.

Thursday’s MoU was signed by the heads of both Eni and Sonatrach in the presence of Tebboune and Draghi.