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ENI CEO: Italy can get through winter without Russian gas

Rome, Italy | XINHUA |  The head of Eni, Italy’s largest oil and gas company said he thought his country would be able to make it through the upcoming winter without major problems despite Russia’s decision to cut off gas supplies, Italian media reported on Thursday.

Based on increased gas imports from Algeria, nearly full natural gas reserves and energy conservation measures, Italy should be able to get through the winter without Russian gas as long as there were no prolonged spells of unusually cold weather, said Claudio Descalzi, Eni’s chief executive officer (CEO), at the Milan-Paris Capitals event.

Before the start of the conflict in Ukraine, Italy was the second largest importer of Russian gas in the EU behind only Germany.

“If the winter is mild on average, we will be able to make it,” he said. “We must be very focused. This winter will be the most difficult. We have to diversify energy sources and, obviously, it is necessary to continue on the path for renewables.”

Descalzi also outlined Eni’s strategy to reduce the company’s reliance on Russian gas. Eni, a multinational company, also operates in countries not subject to Russia’s decision to cut off gas supplies to the European Union (EU).

“Between this year and next, our plan is to reduce by just over 50 percent the amount of gas we import from Russia,” the CEO said. “By 2023 and 2024, we will reach an 80-percent reduction and we will be 100 percent free of Russian gas by 2024-2025.” ■

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