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Italy to get through winter with current gas levels -energy minister

file photo: the logo of italian energy company eni is seen at a gas station in rome
The logo of Italian energy company Eni is seen at a gas station in Rome, Italy August 16, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi/File Photo

 Italy will be able to get through the winter with existing gas storage and flow levels unless there are “catastrophic events”, the country’s energy minister said on Sunday.

“We have gas storage filled at more than 90% (of capacity),” Roberto Cingolani told state-owned television channel Rai Tre, adding that gas was still flowing into Italy, which could also rely on a savings plan ahead of the winter.

“Our simulations show that, if there are no catastrophic events such as very cold winter months or other war developments (in Ukraine), we are covered for the winter,” he said.

“The problem in this moment is not availability (of gas) but (its) price,” Cingolani said, adding that Rome has earmarked other resources to clinch 92-93% storage levels in order to be flexible at peak times over the winter season.

Energy group Eni ENI.MI, the biggest importer of Russian gas in Italy, said on Saturday that it would not receive any of the gas it had ordered for delivery this weekend, and expected this situation to last into Monday.

The disruption added to tensions caused by leaks found last week in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines linking Russia and Germany, which both the Kremlin and the West blamed on sabotage.

Cingolani did not mention the disruption to Eni, but he said that topics on the agenda at a meeting called with the Russian ambassador on Monday at Italy’s Foreign Ministry would include the alleged Nord Stream sabotage.

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