there south route of gas sculpted between the gardens full of lemons and the blue of the Sorrento sea. During Wladimir Putin begins to cut off the supply by blocking the Yamal PipelineduringEurope hesitating about sanctions against Moscow while Volodymyr Zelensky blocks a third of the gas entering the old continent via Ukraine, in the gardens of Villa Zagara the energy future is being rewritten, not only in Italy but probably in Europe.
Guest of honor is North Africa. The Algerian delegation arrived Sorrento it is numerous. And with exponents of weight. There’s Mohamed Arkab, Energy Minister. There sits in the front row Toufik Hakkar, the number one of the energy company Sonatrach. There is Abdelkrim Harchaoui, the special envoy for economic diplomacy. relationships with Algiers have just been cemented by a deal signed between Eni and Sonatrach himself to bring another 9 billion cubic meters of gas to Italy via the Transmed pipeline, on top of the 20 that the Algerians are already selling to the peninsula each year. “Algeria,” says Arkab, “contributes to Europe’s economic security as a safe, reliable and predictable supplier.” In short, the Minister presents himself in a way as a safe haven of energy where uncertainty reigns today. The word he uses most often is “cooperation”.
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DOUBLE THE COMFORT
Arkab does not avoid it. “The partnership between Algeria and Italy must be mutually beneficial”. It follows that in recent years Europe has viewed North Africa as more of a problem than an opportunity. The oil companies of the Old Continent have reduced their involvement in the country to a minimum. “Except for Eni, which has been constantly investing in Algeria,” Arkab points out. This is why Italy was able to move so quickly in finding alternative suppliers in Moscow, crowding out many in Europe. A proximity that Algeria counts on for the future. Face the challenge of ecological change, which the country does not want to escape. “A transition,” says Arkab, “that has to be fair and just, taking into account the differences between countries.” Algeria is a candidate to become a blue hydrogen producer and exporter as it moves towards the decarbonization of the economy. Where gas flows today, hydrogen will flow in the future. He therefore calls on partners like Italy to “transfer technologies” and “train people”. In this way, according to the minister, “the Mediterranean can become an area of shared prosperity”.
Next to Arkab is Mustafa Sanalla, President of the Libyan National Oil Corporation. Another photo of the new gas route. And oil. Mario Draghi also spoke about this with American President Joe Biden. The European energy crisis will also be solved by stabilizing Libya. The country remains one of the richest in oil and gas reserves. And the methane that will arrive from North Africa through the gas pipelines that land in Italy will be able to quench the thirst of many other countries of the Old Continent. The Tarvisio Pass, from which millions of cubic meters arrive daily, pumped by Gazprom from the Siberian fields, will reverse its flow. Gas will no longer go to Italy, it will come out. An epochal change for the country.
ROME – BERLIN
Rome is a candidate for what Berlin is to this day, thanks to Putin’s gas: a hub for all of Europe. With what it means in terms of geopolitical weight and business development. It was also discussed among the lemons of Sorrento. Spain and Portugal will also be there. With their regasifiers, they become natural landing sites for liquid gas. But here, too, Italy wants to be part of the comedy. First by Snam, which has just signed a memorandum of understanding with Spain’s Enagas to study the feasibility of a subsea gas pipeline between the Iberian Peninsula and Italy with a capacity of between 15 and 30 billion cubic meters.
THE TWO SHIPS
But also by further strengthening the Italian regasification capacities themselves. The proposal came from the Minister for the South Mara Carfagna: New regasifiers in the South, in short, not only the two floating ships that go to Ravenna and Piombino to fill the thirsty (gas )North to supply. Units should also be assigned to Taranto for Ilva, but also to Brindisi or Gioia Tauro. We will see. But there is certainly one notable aspect of this return south. That kind of revenge of the pigs, the Mediterranean countries so scornfully defined by the Nordic hawks at the time of the sovereign debt crisis. In addition to gas routes, the clock of history could also change direction.
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