Italy, Spain Explore the Construction of an Offshore Gas Pipeline

Italian gas group Snam and Spain’s Enagas made a deal to study the construction of an offshore pipeline between the two countries, as Europe ramps up efforts to diversify its energy supply mix and phase out Russian gas.

Spain has the largest capacity among the EU members to regasify imported LNG from overseas suppliers such as the U.S., but transporting the gas into Europe has been a problem due to the Pyrenees mountain range in the country’s north.

If approved, the pipeline is expected to have a capacity of up to 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year.

Snam said the pipeline would be easier to build since it’s offshore. The company aims to complete the feasibility study in three to four months.

The company also looks at the possibility to relaunch the 8 bcm per year Midcat project to deliver LNG to France.

The company sees the project as a sizeable opoportunity in the near future. The project had been opposed by the previous government, but the negative sentiment has turned.

Snam also targets an acquisition of two two floating regasification vessels to process extra LNG supply. One of the vessels is expected to be available from next year and the other from 2024. Italy currently has three LNG terminals.

The group, which runs nearly all of Italy’s gas transport and storage business, said it expected gas demand in Italy this year to fall due in part to the increase in energy prices.

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