ROME, Sep 13 – PRIME. Italy intends to double the production of its own natural gas by 2023, bringing it to 7-8 billion cubic meters per year, the newspaper la Repubblica reported.
Italian Minister of Ecological Transition Roberto Cingolani said in this regard that he would present a legislative document next week that would open up the possibility of increasing production at existing fields. At the same time, the minister assured that this measure would not affect the Northern Adriatic – a region where, in particular. Venice and Trieste are located.
“It is necessary to allow the extraction of a small but significant amount of gas, four to five billion cubic meters, from existing fields, in order to increase the autonomy of Italy and allow extractive companies to make up for the effort they will make by giving our companies gas at a reduced price,” he told Radio 24. talking about how the government intends to provide companies with gas at more affordable rates.
La Repubblica notes that the increase in its own production will allow Italy to cover a total of 5% of the required annual amount of fuel. The main candidates are called the central and southern regions of the Adriatic Sea and the Tunisian (aka Sicilian) Strait.
According to the latest figures from the natural energy association Assorisorse, Italian gas reserves are 112 billion cubic meters per year.
The volume of nationwide gas consumption in Italy for 2021 amounted to 76 billion cubic meters. After the start of the Russian special operation in Ukraine, the Italian government set the task of breaking free from dependence on natural gas imported from the Russian Federation as soon as possible. At the initiative of Prime Minister Mario Draghi, concrete steps were taken and new agreements were signed to diversify energy sources and, in particular, increase gas supplies from Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, the Republic of the Congo and a number of other countries. By September, the share of Russian gas supplies has been reduced from 40% to 18%, and taking into account the savings in consumption and the receipt of new energy resources, Italy expects to become completely independent of gas supplies from the Russian Federation in the second half of 2024.