UK will join USA in releasing more oil from its reserves as part of a joint effort to lower prices and reduce reliance on Russian supplies. US President Joe Biden on Thursday said his plans to release a million barrels of oil a day for six months would lay the foundations for the States to achieve energy independence from foreign suppliers. He also said he expected allies to release as many as 50 million barrels from their own stocks. For comparison, a month ago, IEA members agreed on a 61.7-million barrel release, with 30 million coming from the U.S. and 2.2 million from the U.K.
The German Minister of Economy Robert Habeck has raised the first of three alert levels concerning the emergency plan for gas supplies. But what does it mean? Does it involve Italy as well? This first level does not yet provide for any restrictions on state supply, but indicates that the federal government must “increase precautionary measures to be prepared in the event of escalation by Russia”. The decision, then, is in the context of the declaration of the preventive alert level: Russian President Vladimir Putin announced last week that Russia would supply gas to Germany and other “hostile states” only upon payment in rubles. The G7 Group of Economic Powers and the EU oppose ruble payments for gas, but Russia remains adamant. There are three crisis levels. The early warning level means: there are “concrete, serious and reliable indications” that an event can occur that will likely lead to a significant deterioration of the gas supply. It follows the alert level and the emergency level. At the emergency level, the State intervenes to ensure the gas supply of “protected customers”. Private homes, but also hospitals, firefighters and police.
Eni, through its Nigerian subsidiaries Nigerian Agip Exploration (NAE) and Agip Energy & Natural Resources (AENR), and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have delivered 11 water installations in Borno and Yobo, in northeastern Nigeria. The integrated systems – consisting of wells, photovoltaic panels and treatment systems, provide water for domestic consumption and irrigation. They were built as part of the “Access to Water” initiative implemented by FAO and Eni, in collaboration with Eni’s partner, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The public-private partnership leverages the skills and know-how of the parties to facilitate access to water by communities affected by the humanitarian crisis in the northeast of the country.
Eni gas e luce has become Plenitude a few days, creating a unique business model that integrates the production from renewable, the sale of gas and electricity, energy services and a large network of charging points for electric vehicles. Plenitude supplies energy to about 10 million European customers in the retail market, has a portfolio of approximately 1.1 GW of renewable capacity in operation and has the goal of reaching over 6 GW installed by 2025 and over 15 GW by 2030. In the field of electric mobility, through its subsidiary Be Charge, it has a network of over 6,500 charging points that will be expanded both in Italy and in Europe with over 27,000 charging points planned by 2025 and over 31,000 by 2030. Plenitude is a Benefit Company, which aims to have a positive impact on people, communities and the environment. During this year, Plenitude expects, in line with market conditions, to be listed on the Stock Exchange.
Versalis, the company of the Eni group specialized in chemistry, announces the start of the production of bioethanol from lignocellulosic biomass in Crescentino thanks to important investments. The company has started the production of “bioethanol advanced”, that meets the criteria of the European regulation for the development of renewable energy RED II, as it uses raw materials not in competition with the food chain. Bioethanol obtained using Proesa technology is ISCC-E* certified and will be used for the formulation of gasoline with renewable component. The plant is able to process 200 thousand tons/year of biomass, for a maximum production capacity of about 25 thousand tons per year of bioethanol. After a first production test carried out in recent weeks, today the plant is in progressive operation. Adriano Alfani, CEO of Versalis. Has said “The start of the industrial production of advanced bioethanol based on Proesa technology is an important step for Crescentino, a unique plant, and strengthens our strategy in the development of chemistry from renewable also at the service of sustainable mobility, in synergy with Eni’s energy transition path”.
Gas production increase, alongside the one of renewables, will be the main point that will be discussed this week in the Council of Ministers. Actually, the Adriatic resources also attract attention abroad. Germans, for example, are wondering why in Italy we do not use our own gas. According to Bessi, “The extraction of the Italian gas to kilometre zero is one of the points on which I have insisted more in the last few years, and is one of the main themes of my book Natural Gas. The energy of tomorrow. This for its virtuous repercussions both on the economy, because it would lighten the national energy bill, both on employment. A win-win situation, in short”. However, there is still a long way to go: 2021 data have certified a production of just 3.34 billion cubic meters of gas, 18.6% less than 2020. A trifle if compared to our consumption amounted to 76.1 billion mc (+7.2% compared to the previous year), all imported from abroad (Russia and Algeria in the first place).
Washington’s interest is now switching to renewable energy sources such as the planned EuroAfrica subsea electricity interconnector from Egypt to Crete and the Greek mainland, and the proposed EuroAsia interconnector to link the Israeli, Cypriot and European electricity grids. The US State Department has said: “We remain committed to physically interconnecting East Med energy to Europe. We are shifting our focus to electricity interconnectors that can support both gas and renewable energy sources. At a time when Europe’s energy security is more than ever a question of national security, we are committed to deepen our regional relationships and promote clean energy technologies”. In 2020, Cyprus, Greece and Israel signed a “historic” agreement for the construction of the Eastern Mediterranean pipeline, which aims to transfer between 9 and 12 billion cubic metres a year of offshore gas pumped in fields between Israel and Cyprus to Greece, and then on to Italy and other south-eastern European countries.
Europe remains in the middle between Russia and the United States in the Ukrainian crisis. Moscow continues to fuel tensions in Kiev but also in Europe and overseas. The danger is that an Ukrainian invasion will have serious consequences on the energy front as well. Meanwhile, the United States has sought the help of its close ally Qatar in providing emergency supplies if pipelines to Western Europe are cut, according to US officials. It is not clear yet if Vladimir Putin will attend the biannual Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) summit on 22 February. Russia, Iran and Qatar are key members of the forum, which will also hold two days of ministerial meetings. US President Joe Biden vowed on Monday to shut the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Europe if Moscow launches an invasion of Ukraine.
Sicim, company based in Parma that specializes in the design, supply and construction of facilities and infrastructure in the oil&gas field, has been awarded a new contract in Kazakhstan worth about 500 million dollars. The project is called “Karachaganak Expansion Project” and will have a duration of 5 years. The project is divided into two phases that include the installation of two new gas compressor units in a gradual way, the installation of a new package of gas dehydration units (fundamental process to avoid condensation before compression) and installation of associated services and other infrastructure. The first unit is scheduled to start in 2024. The project will be carried out by the subsidiary KKS-Sicim Llp, a company incorporated under Kazakh law.
An oil spill off the Peruvian coast earlier this month has proven to be bigger than previously thought. Environment Minister Ruben Ramirez said Friday that almost 12,000 barrels of oil leaked into the sea on 15 January. The spill was described as an “ecological disaster”. The tanker at the La Pampilla refinery was hit by waves following the volcanic eruption on Tonga. The site, located north of Lima, is owned by Repsol and the local government has demanded compensation. Also, prosecutors have opened an investigation into Repsol’s role in the incident. A judge granted a request on Friday to bar four executives from the firm leaving the country for 18 months amid the ongoing probe. In a statement to the AFP news agency, Repsol said it would “fully cooperate with any criminal investigation” and said it was already aiding in the preliminary stages.