The foreign minister Luigi Di Maio touched down in the 2 African nations over the weekend alongside the CEO of Italian energy group Eni, Claudio Descalzi.
Following similar talks with Qatar and Algeria last week, Di Maio said:
- the deal meant that Italy's dependence on Russian gas could be halved in 2 months
- we will no longer be dependent on Russian gas
- the energy security situation could further improve before the winter heating season
Italy also has 3 regasification terminals for receiving African LNG imports, in La Spezia (3.5 bln m3/yr), Rovigo (8 bln m3/yr) and Toscana (3.75 bln m3/yr).
Italian energy groups Sorgenia and Iren said last week that a 4th 12 bln m3/yr LNG unit at Gioia Tauro in southern Italy was likely to proceed.
Eni has been looking to scale up its Angolan oil & gas operations through a merger with fellow major BP, and on March 11 said that a deal had been finalised.
The newly-merged Angolan producer, called Azure Energy, is expected to have stakes in 16 licence areas, including Eni's operated stake in the exploration-stage Cabinda North and Centro, as well as BP's non-operated stake in the 5.2 mln metric tons/year Angola LNG.
With a daily output of around 200 000 barrels of oil equivalent, Azure Energy is set to become Angola's largest hydrocarbon producer, according to Reuters.
BP is also looking to buy Eni's stakes in the In Salah Gas and In Amenas developments in Algeria, with talks on this 2nd deal still ongoing, Reuters reported on March 11.
Author: Callum Cyrus