Europe can diversify from Russia faster than expected: Draghi

The European Union can diversify away from Russia into natural gas faster than previously thought, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said over the weekend.

In an interview with Corriere della Sera, Draghi noted an agreement from Italy to increase natural gas shipments from Algeria and said “diversification is possible and achievable relatively quickly, faster than we think it is.” ‘imagined just a month ago,’ quoted by Bloomberg.

“We have gas in storage and will have new gas from other suppliers,” Draghi said, adding that energy-saving measures suggested by other officials – and by the IEA – were “moderate”.

These measures include a suggestion for households and offices to reduce heating temperatures by 1-2 degrees Celsius, which the International Energy Agency says could save up to 10 billion m3 of gas.

“The average temperature for heating buildings in the EU is currently above 22°C,” the agency said in its 10-step plan to reduce the EU’s energy dependence on Russia. .

“Thermostat adjustment for building heating would provide immediate annual energy savings of around 10 billion m3 for each degree of reduction while lowering energy bills.”

“Europe continues to finance Russia by buying oil and gas, among other things, at a price unrelated to historical values ​​and production costs,” Draghi also told Corriere della Sera, days after the Italy has signed an agreement for an increase in gas imports. from Algeria.

The increase will be around 40% from current levels, Reuters reported. The deal comes as the EU discusses joint gas purchases to ensure adequate supplies for all members, but it appears Italy has meanwhile decided to go it alone, especially since Algeria is conveniently close and already a gas importer for Italy. The country sources about 40% of its gas imports from Russia.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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