Italy’s Eni is increasingly focused on boosting investment on the south side of the Mediterranean to meet Italy and Europe’s energy security. Here Egypt, with 2022 output of 346,000 boe/d (including 1.41bn cfd of gas), constitutes the firm’s biggest production base (MEES, 21 April), whilst Libya may finally be set to see an investment boost (MEES, 3 February). But it is Algeria that has received the most attention over the past year as a potential source of gas to replace Russian supplies.

Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi has already met Algerian officials on several occasions this year, including alongside Italian PM Giorgia Meloni on her first foreign trip as Italian PM when she lauded “our essential partner Algeria” (MEES, 3 February). This comes on top of a pledge last April from Algerian state producer Sonatrach, at the height of fears that Europe faced an acute gas crunch with the potential halt of Russian supplies, that it would supply Italy (Eni) with “up to 9bcm/y” of additional Algerian gas via the 33.7bcm/y capacity TransMed pipeline which links the two countries via Tunisia (MEES, 15 April 2022). For 2022, Algeria-Italy piped volumes rose to a 12-year high 23.6bcm from 21.2bcm for 2021, whilst overall volumes (including LNG) hit the 25bcm pledged by Sonatrach (MEES, 23 September) though this was achieved thanks to a collapse in deliveries to Spain as Algeria’s overall gas exports fell (MEES, 6 January). (CONTINUED - 1629 WORDS)