Algeria It has become the country from which Italy imports the most Gasto replace Russia. In 2022, the Draghi government concluded several agreements with its Algerian counterpart to increase gas supplies, and pushed forward the diversification process that made it possible to reduce dependence on Russian gas. State-owned companies Eni and Snam have also invested in the African country by strengthening their presence. Gas from Algeria increased but not to the promised levels, and volumes even decreased in the first weeks of 2023. The next institutional trip for Georgia Meloni It seems that it will be in Algeria, where the prime minister can make other bilateral agreements: can failed Algerian promises derail the “Matte plan” announced by Meloni during his inaugural speech in the hall?
Algerian promises to the Draghi government
In 2022, the Draghi government signed several bilateral agreements with Algeria. Mario Draghi personally went to the African country in April and May to discuss and sign it with other members of the government. The essential nature of the agreements concerned gas, at a time when Italy was looking for alternative supplies to those coming from Russia.
The agreements also included Eni e Sonatrachthe Algerian state company that manages the country’s fossil resources, including gas.
In short, it was agreed to increase gas supplies from Algeria to Italy through the pipeline transmedwhich brings Algerian gas to the point of entry on the national grid, in Mazara del Vallo, in Sicily: 4 bcm immediately, in 2022, and increasing volumes up to an additional 9 bcm annually from 2023 to 2024. There have been increases, But not as promised and far from the set goals.
Eni and Sanam have strengthened their presence in Algeria. The last step in the chronological order is the joint management of the two gas pipeline companies linking Algeria and Italy: Snam acquired 49.9 percent of the equity investments held by Eni in the companies operating both gas pipelines. on the beach It leads from the Algerian and Tunisian borders to the Tunisian coast and gas pipelines Navy linking the Tunisian coast to Italy.
How much gas does Italy get from Algeria?
In 2022, Algeria will become the first gas supplier to Italy, after Russia. According to the hump data processed by TodayIf in 2021 Russian gas accounted for 40% of total imports, in 2022 this proportion decreased to 16%.
Meanwhile, Algeria’s weight on Italian gas imports decreased from 29.5 percent in 2021 to 34.3 percent in 2022. The reversal between Algerian and Russian gas is clear: the first grew in one year from 11 percent, while the second fell by 61 percent. to its lowest level ever since 1990.
But even with the increases, Algerian gas has not reached the promised levels.
Algeria’s false promises
The increase in Algerian gas in 2022 was evident, but not in the promised quantities. In accordance with the agreements concluded between Eni and SonatrachGas supplies from Algeria to Italy are supposed to increase by 4 billion cubic meters in 2022 compared to 2021. In fact, according to SNAM data processed by Today The increase was 2.4 billion cubic metres, just over half of what was announced.
In addition, less gas arrived from Algeria in the first days of 2023 than in the same period last year: 867 million cubic meters against 1.1 billion in 2022, about 28 percent less, only in the year it should rise. Algerian gas to 9 billion cubic meters more, which is the maximum allowed by the pipeline transmed.
Meloni matte piano, in the footsteps of Draghi
It is no coincidence that Georgia Meloni’s next corporate trip seems to be in Algeria. Thus, the current government wants to continue the strategy set by the previous Draghi government, taking on its legacy. It is the so-called Matti plan, which Meloni spoke about in his inaugural speech.
“We need a mate plan for Africa, with a position that is not predatory but cooperative,” Meloni said. Algeria, in addition to Libya, could be the fulcrum of the plan, to strengthen Italian influence in the Mediterranean and to preserve supplies of gas and other resources.
In general, Italian gas imports in 2022 decreased slightly compared to 2021, although some alternative supplier countries to Russia, such as Algeria, increased their contribution. This shows how difficult it is to plan ahead and that Italian supply security, without Russian gas, is still in a fragile balance. The transition initiated by Mario Draghi Giorgia Meloni will have to manage the transition, starting in Algeria: in 2023 every extra cubic meter of gas can make a difference.