Draghi Gas: An Italian-Algerian cooperation agreement in the field of energy. Responding to Russia’s Reliance

The Prime Minister, together with Ministers Di Maio and Cingolani and CEO of Eni Descalzi, flew to Algiers to conclude the first energy agreements. The goal is to be able to get rid of Moscow gas as quickly as possible: this first agreement will make it possible to replace up to a third of Russian methane. “Today, in great response to Russian dependence, we are working with Algeria on renewables and green hydrogen,” says Draghi. Eni: An agreement with Sonatrach amounting to 9 billion cubic meters of gas

Italy and Algeria signed a series of gas agreements. The goal is to address Russia’s dependence on this raw material. Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Foreign Minister Di Maio and Environmental Transition Minister Singolani headed to Algeria today with Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi to close the first of a series of energy deals. “Our government has signed a declaration of intent on bilateral cooperation in the energy sector. In addition to this is the agreement between Eni and Sonatrach to increase gas exports to Italy,” Prime Minister Mario Draghi said in Algiers after the signing. “The relations between Italy and Algeria have deep roots,” Draghi said. “Algeria is Italy’s first trading partner on the African continent, and trade between our two countries is growing strongly. And in November, the President of the Republic visited the” Enrico Mattei “garden. And Mattei was a great hero in the cooperation between our countries, a cooperation that we are working to strengthen today.”

Draghi: Today is a big response to Russia’s gas addiction

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“Immediately after the invasion of Ukraine, I announced that Italy would move quickly to reduce dependence on Russian gas (the war in Ukraine: special – live updates). Today’s agreements represent an important response to this strategic objective, and others will follow,” says Draghi. . “The government wants to defend citizens and businesses from the consequences of the conflict. I would like to thank Ministers Di Maio, Cingolani and Eni for their commitment on this front.”

Draghi: We are working with Algeria on renewable energy sources and green hydrogen

“Italy is ready to work with Algeria to develop renewable energy and green hydrogen. We want to accelerate the energy transition and create opportunities for development and employment,” continues Mario Draghi. The trip to Algeria, where the prime minister and ministers met with President Abdelmadjid Tebboune also aims to be able to get rid of Moscow gas as quickly as possible. To stop indirectly financing Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and to secure supplies, so that it is not displaced – and forced to ration – next winter, as first the agreement will make it possible to replace up to a third of Russian methane.

Gas agreements signed between Di Maio and Descalzi with Algeria

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Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio signed an intergovernmental memorandum of understanding between Italy and Algeria with his Algerian counterpart Ramtane Lamamra to strengthen cooperation in the energy field. Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi in parallel signed the technical agreement with Sonatrach’s senior management regarding gas production, contractual quantity and pricing for 2022-2023. “We continue to work tirelessly for the energy security of our country,” Di Maio wrote on Twitter, primarily for families and businesses.

Eni: An agreement with Sonatrach amounting to 9 billion cubic meters of gas

The agreement between Sonatrach President, Taoufik Hakkar, and Eni CEO, Claudio Descalzi, signed in Algiers “will use the available transmission capabilities of the pipeline (Transmed, ed.) to ensure greater flexibility in the energy supply, providing progressively increasing amounts of gas. Levels Starting from 2022, up to 9 billion cubic meters of gas per year in 2023-24”, Eni continues in a note.

Algeria is second only to Russia in importing gas

Algeria currently supplies about 21 billion cubic meters of gas: this is 31% of our imports, second only to Russia. These cubic meters are carried to Europe via TransMed, the gas pipeline that takes gas from the desert of the North African country, through Tunisia and the Mediterranean, to Sicily, in Mazara del Vallo. Diplomatic sources indicated that the pipeline is not running at full speed and that there are margins to increase the import of Algerian methane by 30%. By presenting the strategic plan, Descalzi had calculated the additional supplies that could arrive from Algeria and Libya by next winter at 9-11 billion cubic metres. On average, as Minister Singolani has repeatedly pointed out, we import about 29 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia which can be quickly reduced by about a third thanks to the cooperation between Eni and Algeria’s Sonatrach. The agreement between the two companies will also include investments in infrastructure, to enhance extraction in active fields and accelerate the development of new projects, such as the project announced in March in the southern Berkine oil and gas region.

Relations between Italy and Algeria

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With Algeria, however, there has been a relaunch of bilateral relations for some time: last November there was a visit from Sergio Mattarella, now the visit of the Prime Minister (who heard Tebboune on the phone at the beginning of April), which will be followed by the visit of the Algerian president to Italy in May And an intergovernmental summit that will be prepared for the next few months, the first since 2015. On the table, in addition to gas, there is also the consolidation of trade relations, which previously grew by 44.5% in 2021.

Draghi visit

The program of Draghi and the Italian delegation, after their arrival in Algiers, included a visit to the martyr’s monument. Following the bilateral meeting with the President of the Algerian Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune. Draghi then presided at the presidential palace the signing of the intergovernmental memorandum of understanding on energy and a technical agreement between Eni and Sonatrach, the Algerian energy group. Then the Prime Minister goes to the Italian Embassy in Algiers, where he meets the Italian community: there are about 200 companies that have a fixed presence in Algeria, working in the energy field but also in the infrastructure and major business sectors. At the end of the visit, a dinner was held with President Tebboune, after which the Prime Minister would return to Italy.

energy crisis

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The energy crisis remains at the top of the Italian government’s concerns, given its impact on families and businesses and also on the implementation of the NRP. The trip to Algeria is therefore the first of a series on the Prime Minister’s agenda in the coming weeks, to speed up diversification of sources of supply as much as possible: after Easter it may be the turn of Congo, followed by Angola and Mozambique. Countries with which Italy intends to “strengthen energy cooperation”, Di Maio emphasized, which have already stopped in Qatar and Azerbaijan to pave the way for new agreements.

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