ENI chief says the Italian company will fully replace Russian gas by 2025 by using additional resources from the eastern Mediterranean, a reference to Cyprus that was taken out of context by local media.
Reuters reported on Tuesday that during a Gastech 2022 conference in Milan this week, ENI Chief Operating Officer Guido Brusco said his company “would fully replace Russian gas by 2025 by drawing additional resources from gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean.”
Hours earlier local media in Cyprus cited an initial version of the Reuters report on Tuesday saying the Eastmed pipeline would be fully completed by 2025, but the global news agency, which had cited ENI’s Guido Brusco during an event in Milan, later issued a correction.
“ENI will fully replace Russian gas by 2025, helped by East Med fields, Chief Operating Officer Guido Brusco said on Tuesday during an event in Milan,” the corrected report said.
ENI, which operates the huge Zohr gas field in Egypt’s EEZ, is looking to optimize its exploration campaigns in existing blocks as well as newly acquired acreage
In April 2022, Eni signed a deal with Egypt to boost LNG exports to Italy, with Knews reporting at the time that a series of “immediate solutions” sought by the West to reduce dependency on Russian energy were testing Cyprus’ take on an EastMed pipeline, a long-term vision that failed to launch.
The Rome-based multinational oil and gas company, with interests in waters off Cyprus as well, had said in an April statement it would pump up the extra gas by this fall, adding up to 9bcf of Algerian gas by 2023-24.
Cypriot Energy Minister Natasa Pilides, who also attended the conference, has been making the case for the Republic of Cyprus, saying the island’s offshore gas and latest discoveries could strengthen both Europe’s energy security and energy transition.
Pilides, who also sat on a ministerial panel titled "Unlocking and accelerating the natural gas potential of the Eastern Mediterranean basin,” has said that new gas discovered in the Cronos-1 well, in Block 6 of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, EEZ, could contribute to the revival of interest in the eastern Mediterranean energy corridor envisioned by the countries of the region.
The Cypriot minister told gas newsletter Upstream during Gastech 2022 that floating liquefied natural gas “is one option, or the gas could go to Egypt.”
According to Upstream, the Cypriot minister told delegates at the event that Nicosia had “very positive messages” from Eni as well as the Italian company’s French partner Total.
ENI, which operates the huge Zohr gas field in Egypt’s EEZ, reportedly has been looking to optimize its exploration campaigns in existing blocks as well as newly acquired acreage in the Nile Delta, Eastern Mediterranean and Western Desert regions.
Egypt has persistently emerged as the most likely hub best positioned to provide short-term exports to Europe, with Nicosia seeking to benefit from Cairo's facilities and infrastructure that could receive Cypriot gas.