Italy’s Eni says Gazprom to cut gas flow by 15 percent

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Russia’s Gazprom told Eni it would cut its gas supply by around 15 percent for Wednesday, the Italian energy giant said, amid tensions between Moscow and the West following its invasion of Ukraine.

“Eni confirms that Gazprom has announced a limited reduction in gas supplies for today, amounting to around 15 percent,” a spokesman told AFP.

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“The reasons for the decrease have not been notified at the moment,” he said, adding that Eni was “constantly monitoring the situation.”

On Tuesday, Gazprom said it would be reducing the daily gas deliveries via the Nord Stream pipeline to Germany due to the “repair” of compressor units by German company Siemens.

Italy buys the majority of its natural gas from overseas - and more than 40 percent of its imports come from Russia.

But since Russia invaded Ukraine, triggering unprecedented Western sanctions against Moscow, Italy has been scrambling to cut that reliance - while ensuring it has enough gas to keep the country running.

Moscow has demanded that clients from “unfriendly countries” - including EU member states - pay for gas in rubles, a way to sidestep the financial sanctions against its central bank.

Eni said in May it has opened accounts in euros and in rubles to pay for Russian gas, thus complying with Moscow’s demands, but insisted the move was taken in compliance with the sanctions.

Moscow has lost several European gas clients over its demands for payment in rubles, including Poland, Bulgaria, Finland and the Netherlands.

Other EU countries have also scrambled to reduce their dependency on Russian energy but are divided about imposing a natural gas embargo as several member states are heavily reliant on Moscow’s energy supplies.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said during a visit to Jerusalem Tuesday that Italy and Israel were “working together on the use of gas resources from the eastern Mediterranean and for the development of renewable energy” as part of the push to cut reliance on Russian gas.

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