Roundup:Russian gas flows cut by one third, Italy outlines energy emergency plan for winter-Xinhua

Roundup:Russian gas flows cut by one third, Italy outlines energy emergency plan for winter

Source: Xinhua| 2022-07-12 00:12:16|Editor: huaxia

ROME, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Italy's energy company ENI said Russia's energy giant Gazprom cut its gas delivery to the country by about one-third on Monday compared to the average volumes supplied over the last few days.

Also on Monday, Italian media reported details of a plan outlined by the national authorities to reduce domestic energy consumption next winter in case of further cuts to Russian gas imports.

"Gazprom announced that today it will supply approximately 21 million cubic meters of gas per day to Eni, while the average for the last few days was about 32 million cubic meters per day," Eni said in a statement.

Eni said it would provide updates in case of "further and significant changes in (gas import) flows."

The move came as Gazprom began annual maintenance work that is expected to last 10 days on its Nord Stream 1 pipeline, through which the Russian company exports some of its gas to Europe.

"A campaign to save water and gas will start soon," Italy's ecological transition minister Roberto Cingolani was quoted by local media as saying on Monday.

"The sobriety measures are simple. For example, by decreasing the average (indoor) temperature by one degree Celsius, or by cutting our heating time by only one hour, we would be able to save between 1.5 billion to 2 billion cubic meters of gas per year," the minister explained.

He said the campaign should start in the coming weeks, ahead of the energy consumption increase expected as usual by the end of summer.

The measures might also include cutting down on street lighting within and outside cities and switching off the illumination of hundreds of historical monuments and buildings across the country at night, according to Italy's major newspaper La Repubblica.

"The government's contingency plan outlines three levels of crisis, and we are currently in the first, pre-alarm level," it said.

The plan might also include suspending supplies to "the most energy-intensive industries" for a limited period in case of emergency and, at the same time, drawing on the country's strategic reserves, according to the La Repubblica report.

According to estimates provided by the government at the end of June, Italy's gas storages were at some 60 percent of capacity and would reach the target of 90 percent by November.

In April, Cingolani said that Italy could become "almost totally independent" of gas imported from Russia by the second half of 2023.

The European Union (EU) receives some 40 percent of its natural gas and almost 30 percent of its oil from Russia. The recent intensification of the Russia-Ukraine conflict has prompted the bloc to wean itself off Russian fossil fuels, banning most oil imports by the end of this year, but not gas.

Italy imported around 40 percent of its gas from Russia before the Ukraine crisis broke out. According to information provided by Cingolani last week, the country has already moved to reduce such supplies and partially replaced them with some 25 billion cubic meters imported from six other countries, including Algeria, Egypt, Angola and the Republic of the Congo.